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Neelam Kapoor made her first appearance 3 March 1997. She is portrayed by Jamila Massey.

Storylines[]

Neelam and her husband built themselves a profitable clothing business, but left it in the hands of their son, Sanjay, in the late 1980s and emigrated to their native India. However Sanjay proved to be a poor businessman and after some bad monetary investments, his business went bankrupt. Sanjay kept this from his parents and moved to Walford to open a clothing stall in 1993.

In February 1997 Sanjay heard news that his father had died. He travelled to India for the funeral and returned early in March with his mother in tow. Gita was horrified. She had always had a tempestuous relationship with Sanjay's interfering mother and she was furious that he'd brought her to live with them without her consent. Neelam, sensing Gita's disapproval, went out of her way to be as obliging as possible and she was even understanding upon hearing the clothing business had floundered. Gita begrudgingly began to accept Neelam's presence but found her domineering mannerisms a little irksome.

Neelam pitched in with the running of the Kapoor's market stall before buying the First Til Last grocery store in August 1997. Neelam was adamant that the shop should be run as a family business, so she fired the resident shop assistant, Carol Jackson, which didn't go down well. Neelam continued to irritate Gita as the year wore on by instructing her on the upbringing of her daughter, Sharmilla, and accusing her of being a bad wife to Sanjay. Sanjay allowed Neelam to pamper him and cater to his every whim, which infuriated Gita further. By October Gita could take no more so she decided to leave Walford for a holiday with her sister, but not before telling Neelam a few home truths about Sanjay's adultery before departing. Neelam was appalled, but she was only to happy to believe her precious son when he claimed Gita was merely lying.

Gita was due to return in January 1998, but she went missing in suspicious circumstances and the police suspected foul play. It transpired that Gita had merely run away after falling pregnant with another man's baby. Sanjay tracked her down and Gita was persuaded to return to Walford with her new baby. Neelam was furious about Gita's immoral behaviour and would not condone Sanjay taking on another man's child as his own. She tried to convince him to divorce Gita and fight for custody of Sharmilla. Sanjay defiantly refused to do this, so Neelam sold her shop to Terry Raymond and left Walford to live with her extended family in Bristol, disowning her son on the way out. Her last appearance was in July 1998.


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