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10 Things You Should know About Neerja Bhanot

She laid her life for the sake of other, when honoured called

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Sharing a moment from their wedding day, Sonam, who now goes by 'SonamKAhuja' on Instagram, wrote:
Sonam Kapoor thanks everyone, IANS

A women who sacrificed her life, at the age of 24, so that she could protect her passengers. Her plane Pam Am Flight 73 was hijacked on the way to USA, she saved each and every life on that flight, except hers.

Sonam Kapoor starrer ‘Neerja’ is based on the same set of events. Kapoor won her first National award for the film.

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Here 10 must know facts about Neerja Bhanot:

1. She was born on 7th September, 1962 in Chandigarh to Harish and Rama Bhanot.

Her father was a journalist in his days. Her parents had prayed for long to get a daughter. When she was born, her father had thanked the nurse twice. She repeated, ‘It is a girl.’

2. She studied in Bombay Scottish School, and graduated from St Xavier’s college, Mumbai.

A ‘no problem’ child, who entertained ‘no nonsense’. Neerja’s family name was ‘Lado’.

3. She was a loyal friend.

Even if she had a disagreement with any of her friends, she would always be the first to sort it out. She always used to speak her mind, telling the truth.

4. Neerja Bhanot was a known face in ad campaigns.

She was around 18 years old when a photographer approached her for a modelling assignment. When the ad was printed, what followed was a mirage of jobs. Neerja had features in ads for Binaca, Vaporex and Krack Jack biscuits.

Her flight was hijacked on its way to United States of America. Pexels
Her flight was hijacked on its way to United States of America. Pexels

5. She was married to a man based in Sharjah in March 1985.

This was when her modelling career was taking off. But Neerja agreed to the marriage without any argument. However within two months of the marriage, she was subjected to mental and physical abuse.

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6. Neerja’s marriage came to an end when she came back to Mumbai for a modelling assignment.

Her husband sent her an ugly letter listing terms of her return. It was ‘accept the humiliating terms without a whimper at your own cost’ offer. The other option was separation. Bhanot chose the later.

7. She was picked in the top 80, out of 10,000 applicants for a job of flight attendant with Pam Am.

After her abusive marriage ended, Neerja wanted to prove herself. She used to say if something happened to her one day, even her ex-husband’s shadow should not fall on her dead body. Her wish was honoured.

8. She left home for the last time on 5th September 1986.

25 hours before turning 24, she left to attend her cabin-crew duty. Neerja Bhanot was known to be absolutely calm and efficient through the hijack episode. She alerted the captain, and it was her smartness that ensured the plane couldn’t take off.

She could have escaped first when she opened the emergency exit. Pexels
She could have escaped first when she opened the emergency exit. Pexels

9. She saved others, over herself.

Neerja could have saved herself when she opened the emergency exit, but that didn’t go well with her. She decided to be the last person to quit, be it alive or dead.

10. It was on 6th of September that her funeral took place, just a day before her birthday.

The women who died so other could live. She cremated with the chanting of ‘Goodbye darling, please keep coming’, her favourite mantra.

Next Story

Actor Anil Kapoor Feels Sonam is a Self-made Star

Talking about escaping Bollywood stereotypes, Anil said: "I started my career with 'Woh Saat Din', where I played a role of someone who comes from Patiala to become a music director which was very unconventional at that point in time

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Anil Kapoor. IANS

Actor Anil Kapoor says his daughter and actress Sonam K. Ahuja has worked really hard to achieve everything in her life.

“She has made herself. She has worked hard to become what she is. She is the kind of person who gives a lot of love and affection. And, it comes very naturally to her. She is a very sensitive person,” Anil Kapoor said.

He opened up about his daughter in an episode of “Famously Filmfare Season 2”. The episode will air on Sunday on Colors Infinity, Colors Infinity HD, Voot and Jio, read a statement.

Anil Kapoor is currently seen sharing screen space with Sonam Kapoor in “Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga”, which highlights the complexities of being a homosexual in India. A Fox Star Hindi project, the film also features Rajkummar Rao, Juhi Chawla, Seema Pahwa and Brijendra Kala.

Anil Kapoor along with daughter Sonam Kapoor
Anil Kapoor along with daughter Sonam Kapoor. (Wikimedia Commons)

Directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar, it is co-produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Fox Star Studios. It opened in India on Friday.

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Talking about escaping Bollywood stereotypes, Anil Kapoor said: “I started my career with ‘Woh Saat Din’, where I played a role of someone who comes from Patiala to become a music director which was very unconventional at that point in time.

“It was totally opposite to what everybody was doing around me. That included the lead actors riding horseback or a motorbike or even playing a guitar. No actor would be launched in the same manner that I was.” (IANS)