List of EastEnders characters (1997)

Neelam Kapoor is played by Jamila Massey.

Neelam and her husband built themselves a profitable clothing business but left it in the hands of their son, Sanjay (Deepak Verma), 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 moves to Walford to open a clothing stall in 1993. In February 1997 Sanjay hears news that his father has died. He travels to India for the funeral and returns early in March with his mother in tow. Sanjay's wife Gita (Shobu Kapoor) is horrified. She had always had a tempestuous relationship with Sanjay's interfering mother and she is furious that he has brought her to live with them without her consent. Neelam, sensing Gita's disapproval, goes out of her way to be as obliging as possible and she is even understanding upon hearing the clothing business had floundered. Gita begrudgingly begins to accept Neelam's presence but finds her domineering mannerisms a little irksome.

Neelam helps with the running of the Kapoor's market stall, before buying the First Til Last grocery store in August 1997. Neelam is adamant that the shop should be run as a family business, so she fires the resident shop assistant, Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson). Neelam continues to irritate Gita as the year wears on by instructing her on the upbringing of her daughter, Sharmilla (Priya Bilkhu), and accusing her of being a bad wife to Sanjay. Sanjay allows Neelam to pamper him and cater to his every whim, which infuriates Gita further. By October Gita can take no more so she decides to leave Walford with Sharmilla for a holiday with her sister, but not before telling Neelam a few home truths about Sanjay's adultery before departing. Neelam is appalled, but she is only to happy to believe her precious son when he claims Gita was merely lying. Gita and Sharmilla are due to return in January 1998, but they go missing in suspicious circumstances and the police suspect foul play. It transpires that Gita had merely run away after falling pregnant with another man's baby. Sanjay tracks her down and Gita is persuaded to return to Walford with Sharmilla and her new baby. Neelam is furious about Gita's immoral behaviour and will not condone Sanjay taking on another man's child as his own. She tries to convince him to divorce Gita and fight for custody of Sharmilla. Sanjay defiantly refuses to do this, so Neelam sells her shop to Terry Raymond (Gavin Richards) and leaves Walford to live with her extended family in Bristol, disowning her son on the way out. Her last appearance is in July 1998. Provided by Wikipedia
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