Mandakini On Ram Teri Ganga Maili Co-Star Rajiv Kapoor's Death

Mandakini, the actor who gained fame with that iconic wet saree scene in Ram Teri Ganga Maili, remembers her on screen-pairing with Rajiv Kapoor.

Tanvi Akhauri
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For Mandakini and late Rajiv Kapoor, both of whom imprinted short careers in Hindi cinema, unparalleled recognition came with their 1985 blockbuster Ram Teri Ganga Maili. Though always prominently memorable for Mandakini's 'bold' scene in that iconic white saree, the film gained renewed attention as having been the crown of Kapoor's cinematic journey as the industry mourned his death on February 9. 


Kapoor passed away on Tuesday at the age of 58 in Mumbai, after suffering a massive heart attack. Fondly called ‘Chimpoo,’ he was a notable member of the Kapoor film family and the youngest son of legendary actor Raj Kapoor. Mandakini, Kapoor's most successful on-screen co-star, joined other stars and his family in remembering the actor post his passing. 

Actor Remembers "Beautiful Memories" With Rajiv Kapoor

Sharing two pictures from their film, she wrote on Instagram, "May his soul rest in peace. I will always remember our beautiful memories together, they will always remain precious to me, I will forever cherish them." 

Though Kapoor and Mandakini both went on to do several films after co-starring in Ram Teri Ganga Maili, that project was the most definitive one in both their careers. The last film directed by Kapoor's father, Ram Teri Ganga Maili courted immense controversy upon its release and even beyond that. A look at the themes of the film tells why. 

Mandakini: A 'Bold' Force In Hindi Cinema 

At only 22, Mandakini headlined this film that is considered one of the watershed moments in mainstream Hindi cinema given its 'bold' content matter. Till today, Ram Teri Ganga Maili is identifiable even by only that one scene of Mandakini clad in a dangerously transparent white saree bathing under a waterfall. That daring, combined with her light-eyed beauty, was enough to send audiences, and the censor board at the time, into a tizzy. 

The wet saree scene in Ram Teri Ganga Maili, and another where Mandakini was shown breastfeeding, positively alarmed the censor board and the conservative Indian society of the 80s, but made the screen without any cuts. It even earned Mandakini a Filmfare for Best Actress. 

She went on to do some other films like Dance Dance and Kahan Hai Kanoon with Mithun Chakraborty and Aditya Pancholi respectively, memories of which she often shares on her social media profiles. But none outperformed her 'bold' film. After a few flops and a controversy involving Dawood Ibrahim, she left the mainstream acting scene. Today, she is married with two children and practices Tibetan medicine and yoga classes with her husband. 

Mandakini Bollywood actress Rajiv Kapoor Ram Teri Ganga Maili