Salman Khan was in Leh Ladakh to shoot for Kabir Khan’s period war-drama, Tubelight. After wrapping up the first schedule on Friday, the 49-year-old actor toured the region, visiting hospitals and monasteries with his Romanian girlfriend Iulia Vantur who’d accompanied him and while he worked 14-hour shifts, she busied herself with shooting a documentary exploring the beauty of the region. On Saturday, the couple visited the Thikse Monastery to meet the Dalai Lama and seek his blessings. The spiritual leader was clicked holding both their hands as the trio shared a laugh. Buzz is, Iulia and Salman are set to tie the knot later this year.Born in Romania in 1980, Iulia completed her schooling with specialisation in law at 15, going on to work as a TV presenter and model. An only child of social worker parents who run the Hope Foundation in Romania, Iulia went on to work full-time with Europa Nova, a local channel in Eastern Europe.At 29, she moved out of her family home to work as a news anchor, doing morning shows in Bucharest. She eventually went on to bag her first show as a VJ, Dancing with Stefan Banica. The blonde beauty was on vacation in Ireland in mid 2010 when she heard that a big-budget Bollywood film, Bodyguard, was being shot in Dublin. She was introduced to Salman by her then boyfriend, Marius Moga, a Grammy nominated Romanian producer, composer and singer. Salman had just broken up with Katrina Kaif and took an instant liking to Iulia, promising to recommend her to his B-town friends.Iulia and Marius flew down to India the follow ing year and broke up soon after. Iulia returned to India in 2012, this time alone, and Salman opened the doors of his Karjat farmhouse to her. She stayed there for a month and-a-half, auditioning for TV shows and Hindi films. She was also a part of Guy Moshe’s Hollywood film, Bunraku, featuring Demi Moore, Josh Hartnett and Woody Harrelson.Her Bollywood career didn’t quite take off but she did manage to land a seven-figure remuneration for just a special appearance in Salman’s sister, Alvira and hubby Atul Agnihotri’s 2014 film, O Teri.
The film tanked but served as a catalyst to Salman and Iulia’s blossoming romance.Iulia grew close to Salman’s inner circle, especially Daisy Shah who debuted in Jai Ho, while main taining a calculated distance from him in public. She was among the audience at the trailer launch of Salman’s 2014 Eid release, Kick, and might have gone unnoticed had it not been for a hawk eyed Indonesian Sallu fan who posted a picture of her on social media.More recently, Iulia struck up a friendship with Arbaaz Khan’s wife Malaika Arora Khan who turned up at a Bandra eatery when she heard that Iulia was dining there alone. Last month when Salman was in Budapest to shoot a promotional song, he met her parents. On May 13, his lady love was with his sister Alvira when they arrived for Preity Zinta and Gene Goodenough’s wedding reception.When quizzed about their first public appearance, Salman had shot back, “Was I with her or was she with my sister? I ran away in front. I don’t want to keep the press so busy. My private life may be national news but it’s not that important.”
Iulia’s presence at all Khan dos attracted wide media attention, forcing her to turn all her social media accounts private three months ago. Her pictures with Marius splashed all over the Indian web rattled her in particular and Salman prodded her to release a statement which read, “Dear friends, I didn’t feel the need to react to any rumours, ever. But now, I think I should state clearly that I was never married and I am in no hurry to wear my wedding dress.
God bless us all!” Sallu mentioned Iulia publicly for the first time this July, sharing a link to the song she’d sung for his wres tling-drama. But he has consistently maintained that if he ever got engaged or married, he’d announce it himself and not hide it like those yesteryear stars who hid their wives thinking that it would lessen their fan following.”I know the whole country would be happy for me,” he’d asserted to Mirror (May 21). Salman loves kids, so does Iulia.When quizzed about whether he wants kids of his own, Salman had said, “I’d like to have a child but the problem with that is with the child the mother comes along. If I can avoid the mother and have a child I wouldn’t mind two or three.”When prodded on the rumours of their upcoming wedding he’d laughed and said it’d have to be at night because he wouldn’t have the guts to get married in light of the day. He’d quipped, “Earlier, it would have been okay, but marriage, at my age, is a big step.Maybe it is a big step for Salman, however, as far as the Romanian media is concerned, their leading tabloid, Click, has already taken to addressing Iulia as “Doamna Khan” which translates as “royal Mrs Khan”.After over three decades of dating actresses, mostly co-stars with whom he’d shared screen space, sources believe that Salman has picked Iulia to be his life partner because she is extremely discreet, gets along with his family and shares his love for kids and animals.Ms Right? We’ll know soon enough.