Actor and fashion icon Sonam Kapoor celebrates her 36th birthday today. Born into a family of film stars, Sonam has carved a space for herself through her journey of many ups and downs, and has experimented with different genres and roles from commercial entertainers to gripping award-winning films like Neerja. Despite staying away from films for the past couple of years, the actor has still managed to remain in the limelight with her public appearances, gorgeous photoshoots and voiced her strong opinion on pertinent issues like LGBTQ representation and MeToo.
Sonam’s life is nothing less than a Bollywood film—from her relationship with her parents Anil Kapoor and Sunita Kapoor and cousin Arjun Kapoor, to her husband Anand Ahuja. Here’s looking back at some anecdotes in her life:
When she used to bribe Arjun Kapoor with burgers to come with her on dates
During a guest appearance on Koffee With Karan, her cousin, actor Arjun Kapoor had a couple of hilarious things to say about Sonam. “This sweet fragile ethereal beauty used to bite me as a kid,” he said, and went on to tease her about the accent that she would pick up from her holidays to the US.
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“She used to come back with an American accent and would talk like that also. I was also the third wheel on her dates, when a boy would ask her out. She used to make me this protective asset that she could carry along, so she could tell her parents, ‘Listen, I’m going with Arjun’, whereas she was going with Arjun as an added plus one with her date. I used to sit alone on those dates eating McDonalds’s burgers that she used to pay for, to also bribe me.”
When Arjun Kapoor got a black eye for Sonam Kapoor
Last year in an interview with RJ Siddharth Kanan, Arjun revealed that he had even gotten into a fight for Sonam. “Sonam and I were in the same school. I was chubby then. I used to love playing basketball and so did Sonam. One day, it was a typical, cliched scene where seniors came and grabbed the ball from Sonam and announced it was their time to play. Sonam came crying to me. She said, ‘He behaved badly with me, this boy.’ I asked, ‘Who’s this boy?’ I am not a violent person at all. Neither in my childhood nor now. But I do get angry. I got angry and I went. That boy came and I abused him. He looked at me, kept staring at my verbal diarrhoea of abuses, he just looked at me.”
Arjun added that he was suspended after this fight, “He took his hand and punched me. I went back home with a black eye. Sonam was saying sorry to me and I remember, he was a part of some national level boxing. He was a boxer. Maine galat ladke se panga le liya tha Sonam ke chakkar mein (I messed with the wrong guy for Sonam). I got the punch and had to go to the doctor. I got suspended because I abused. I was the instigator of the problem. After that I told Sonam, ‘you take care of yourself in school because I have been defamed very badly. I can’t do this’,” he added.
How Sunita Kapoor and Anil Kapoor play ‘good cop bad cop’ with Sonam
During with their joint appearance together on KWK, in 2014 Karan quizzed Anil Kapoor about his youthful looks. Sonam then revealed that it was her mother, Sunita who keeps him in check. In fact, she added, “She keeps all of us in check.” When Karan asked Anil if he was scared of his wife, he joked, “No, no she is scared of me.” At the time Sonam interjected and said that Anil was ‘petrified’ of Sunita. “It’s a lot of fear, all of us are scared in the family,” she laughed. When Karan asked Anil if he was involved in any rumours, both of them denied it, and Sonam even said that Sunita hadn’t allowed any film magazines in the house. When speaking about her relationships in this episode, Sonam strongly maintained that she preferred to keep her private life away from the media glare. A proud Anil Kapoor said that it was ‘Sunita’s training’, and that he had been ‘groomed’ by his wife too.
Sonam also called Anil Kapoor the ‘coolest’ dad ever, and that he never remembered her boyfriends names. “He calls them different things,” she laughed. Anil added, “Because I know she’s not serious, I’ll know when she is.” On the other hand, Sonam admitted that Sunita Kapoor was ‘slightly more conservative’ than her father, with Anil adding that it is a ‘good cop bad cop’ situation at home.
Her love story with Anand Ahuja
Sonam’s friends were trying to set her up with businessman Anand Ahuja’s best friend at first. Apparently, she met Anand when she was busy with the promotions of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015). One day, her friends ‘conned’ her into visiting a bar and saw that her friends had called three boys. She flatly said that she didn’t believe in marriage “and all this nonsense”, and that she didn’t want to date anybody. In an interview to Filmfare, she said, “I saw Anand and his friend. His friend was tall like me, liked reading like me and was a huge fan of Hindi movies. He was an educated and a nice guy. But he reminded me too much of my brother Harsh (Kapoor). I was like, ‘Dude, he’s Harsh. I’m not going to date this guy’.”
When Sonam ignored Anand’s first proposal
On the show Feet Up With The Stars, Sonam said that before he went down on one knee for her, he had actually written her a long letter months before he proposed. “In June, on my birthday, he wrote me this long letter about how he thinks he needs to spend the rest of his life with me but it was not really a proposal. I was like, he is saying all of this but he is not getting down on one knee so I ignored it.”
Months later on a ‘very bad day’ as Sonam described, he proposed. Sonam was annoyed as she had lost her favorite pair of sunglasses and they had a ‘stupid fight’. She said, “He picked me up from my pilates class, which was a huge disaster as well, and I was really pissed off. I remember we were walking to the hotel. He had his bike…he likes to cycle…and I was walking with him. He just got down on his knee in the middle of the New York street and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ I was like, ‘I was such ab***h all day’.” Sonam Responding to his proposal, Sonam Respond said yes and also went down on her knees.
After keeping her love life private for several years, Sonam finally went public with her relationship with him by 2017. They tied the knot in an extravagant wedding in 2018, that saw several Bollywood stars in attendance.