Mandakini Joseph Thakur
Mixed race, Anglo-Indian
Dr. Kagyur T. Rinpoche Thakur (m. 1990)
Rabbil Thakur, Rabze Innaya Thakur
Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Commando, Dance Dance, Aag Aur Shola, Loha
Mandakini (born 30 July 1963, as Yasmeen Joseph) is a former Bollywood actress. She is best remembered for her role in the 1985 movie Ram Teri Ganga Maili.
Mandakini was born in an Anglo Indian family in Meerut. Her father, Joseph is British and her mother is Muslim.
Starting off as an unknown girl from Meerut, Yasmin was rejected by at least three film makers before Ranjit Virk changed her name to Madhuri and signed her up for Mazloom. Before the film could take off, Raj Kapoor discovered her at age 22 and cast her in a lead role in the 1985 movie Ram Teri Ganga Maili with the screen name "Mandakini" opposite his youngest son, Rajiv Kapoor. The movie was a blockbuster, and it earned Mandakini a Filmfare nomination as Best Actress. Her physical assets were exploited to the full in the film which had caused quite a stir, especially because of two scenes in it: one in which Mandakini was shown bathing under a waterfall wearing only a flimsy white saree through which her breasts and nipples were clearly visible and another in which she was shown breast-feeding a child.
Mandakini acted in a few more successful films, such as Dance Dance with Mithun Chakraborty, Kahan Hai Kanoon with Aditya Pancholi and Pyaar Karke Dekho with Govinda, but never recreated the success of her first movie.
The Dawood connection
In 1994, photographs began circulating of Mandakini in the presence of dreaded gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Rumours had already been doing the rounds that the two were having an affair, and the photos only served to fuel them. One of the theories put forward was that Ibrahim, who was known to have a keen interest in Bollywood and had financed movies, had pressured Rishi Kapoor into casting Mandakini, and she was his mistress. Later, it was alleged that she had moved to Dubai to be with him.
Mandakini vehemently denied all rumours linking her to Dawood. She was extremely famous. While she admitted to knowing and being on friendly terms with him, she claimed that they did not know each other personally, let alone be a couple.
Mandakini's career suffered a serious setback. She quit movies after Zordaar in 1996 and has lived in Mumbai with her husband and children. Since then, she has made attempts to reinvent herself. She released two pop music albums – No Vacancy and Shambala – neither of which was a success.
Currently, she runs classes in Tibetan yoga and is a follower of the Dalai Lama. With her husband, she runs a centre for Tibetan medicine, which is commonly known as the Tibetan Herbal Centre in the area.
In 1990, Mandakini married a former Buddhist monk, Dr. Kagyur T. Rinpoche Thakur. Thakur gained fame in childhood as the baby featured in Murphy Radio advertisements in the 1970s and 1980s. They have a son named Rabbil and a daughter Rabze Innaya Thakur.