Born on July 30, 1969 in Meerut as Yasmeen Joseph to a British father and a Kashmiri Muslim mother, Mandakini is a former Bollywood actor best known for her film Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985). Those who grew up gorging on Raj Kapoor’s films will clearly remember Mandakini’s wet sari sequence in the movie. Ram Teri… earned Mandakini a Filmfare best actress nomination. She also appeared in a few more successful films such as Dance Dance with Mithun Chakraborty, Pyaar Karke Dekho with Govinda and a special appearance in Tezaab with Anil Kapoor.
She was rumoured to have had a relationship with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. It was also said that after her career suffered a major setback, she moved to Dubai to stay with him. Mandakini refutes these claims, saying she was only friends with him.
These days, she runs classes in Tibetan yoga and is a follower of the Dalai Lama. She runs a centre for Tibetan medicine along with her husband, Buddhist monk Dr Kagyur T Rinpoche Thakur and is also planning to direct a film with him. The couple has a daughter, Rabze.