Neelam Kothari (1969? – ) As she approaches a half century mark in life, Neelam Kothari has already created two successful careers. During 1980s and 1990s, she was one of the most famous actresses in India’s film industry known as Bollywood.
She started her career with Jawani in 1984 and followed it up with a string of hits that included Illzaam (1986) opposite debutante Govinda, Love 86, Aag Hi Aag and some years later with Hum Saath Hain. Her career’s biggest hit was Ghar Ka Chiraag opposite Rajesh Khanna in 1989.
Before she retired from making films in the 1990’s, she showed an interest in jewelry design and was involved in her family’s jewelry making business. Neelam was born in Hong Kong where she spent her early childhood before her family moved to Bangkok, Thailand. She also studied ballet for five years in Hong Kong, learned to play piano, and danced in Jazz Ballet works.
After divorcing her first husband, Neelam married Bollywood actor Samir Soni in 2011. The couple had a baby girl in September 2013.
Her family’s traditional jewelry business produces high-end pieces. Neelam pursued a formal course in jewelry-design in Mumbai and, after quitting films began her own jewelry business under the name Neelam Jewels. She opened a Mumbai showroom in 2004, then launched a jewelry store in Mumbai in 2011 under the name Neelam Kothari Fine Jewels.
Her latest store is designed so jewelry attracts a visitor’s attention. Simple wooden display units and conventional lighting play second fiddle to the range of jewelry Neelam has designed. Neelam Kothari Fine Jewels has been a pioneer creating very exclusive and fine handmade jewelry.
Neelam often uses very good quality diamonds, Columbian emeralds, and Burma rubies in her creations. She tries to keep her pricing competitive for local Indian customers. The new store is in Bandra, one of Mumbai’s up-market suburbs. It showcases a large amount of hand-made designs that include necklaces, earrings, pendants, bracelets, and rings.
Among Neelam’s most recent collections is one for brides. It consists of a necklace set, cocktail ring, earrings, and bracelets.
Interestingly, Neelam’s family was always against her decision to join the film industry because they did not think of it as a good profession. At the same time though, they supported her because she promised to keep away from vulgar roles. One presumes they are very happy with their daughter’s current life and career.