Don Abu Salem and Saraswatichandra aka Monica Bedi's love story
Jun 28, 2013, 03:05 AM IST
Abu Salem and Monica Bedi's love story is a page straight out from a thriller novel where the good girl falls in love with the bad guy and though things appear rosy in the beginning they end up into a nightmare, well at least for Monica Bedi it the novel is not a fiction but a fact. In September 2002, she was arrested along with fugitive underworld don Abu Salem by the Lisbon police for entering Portugal with forged documents. They served jail sentence in Portugal. After years of legal battle, they were deported to India on 11 November 2005, after India promised Portugal that Salem would not receive the death sentence. On 29 September 2006, an Indian Court convicted Monica Bedi for passport forgery. CBI had filed a case against Bedi under section 420 (cheating), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and section 12 of the Passport Act for procuring a passport on a fictitious name. In November 2010, the Supreme Court of India upheld the conviction of Bedi, but reduced the jail term to the period that she had already served.
This torrid affair with the underworld don gave Monica nothing but ignominy laced with the torture of a jail sentence. But how did Abu Salem stumbled upon Monica and mage to convince her to lead the rest of her life with him? Despite repeated warnings why did Monica made the mistake to fall in love with him? We bring you the real love story of Monica Bedi and Abu Salem to answer the why and how of the affair between the actress and the underworld don.
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Monica told in an interview,. "One day, I got a call from a guy in Dubai saying he was organising a show where he wanted me to perform. I said okay. He said he would get back to me after all the formalities were done. Then, a few days later, he called up again and we talked for some time. A couple of days later, he called again. I began getting friendly with him over the phone. At the time, he gave me a different name. I didn't know he was Abu Salem."
Salem kept hiding his real name from Monica. Says Monica, "He kept hiding his real identity from me at that time. Even though we hadn't met, we became really close. Finally, we decided to meet up. That's when I went to Dubai. We met; we liked each other. That's how it all started."
Monica visited Salem twice in Dubai and still, his real identity was unknown to her.
"When he invited me to Dubai for the third time, I asked him to come to Mumbai instead. But he always kept giving me some excuse or the other. He had introduced himself to me as Arsalan Ali — that's the false identity he used often.
"When I asked him to come to Mumbai, he said things like, 'I won't get the visa' and all that. Finally, on my third trip to Dubai, he told me his real identity. He said his real name was Abu Salem and that he had a past. He said he wanted to change all that and start afresh. By that time, we were in love with each other.
Monica reveals that he kept her from returning, "He never allowed me to come back. He feared that if the police got hold of me, eventually, he'd get caught. There were two fears he faced – for me and for himself." "Again, he was living with the same fear. That if I left him, I'd go back to India. If I went to India, the police would interrogate me. And if that happened, I may say something about him and he'd get caught. Sometimes, his actions seem selfish to me; sometimes I feel he acted like that because he really loved me.
Maybe it was his fear. But the fact was that he didn't allow me to go. I really tried hard. Twice, I even tried to escape but he got me and I came back to him. It was all a big mess
Finally, we got caught in Portugal." Realisation By that time, though they were together, the relationship was going through its worst patch. Monica looks back and analyses it. "In the initial days of my relationship with him, I couldn't really make out what kind of a person he was. I would be in Dubai for two-three days and then I'd be back in Mumbai. When you're with a person for just two-three days, he's always on his best behaviour. It was only after I started living with him that I realised we weren't meant for each other. But he did not understand it then.