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Bollywood’s been the playground for many romances and as Abhishek and Aishwarya consummate their relationship, TSI takes a look at the industry’s couples who best epitomise off the screen love stories
TSI | Issue Dated: April 22, 2007
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BOLLYGAMY BALLADS! The whole nation is agog with excitement. Fifteen kilos of auspicious henna has been brought in from Sojat, a town near Jodhpur, which will give Aishwarya’s mehendi, like Liz Hurley’s, a much bolder tincture of red. The mehndi function is being held at Ash’s residence on 19 April, followed by the Sangeet Ceremony the next day at the Bachchan’s bungalow, Jalsa and then it’s D-Day! The world’s most beautiful woman, Indian cine industry’s top-notch actress, Aishwarya Rai will tie the knot with the industry’s most promising superstar Abhishek Bachchan, who’s more importantly the son of the Superstar of the Millennium, Amitabh Bachchan. Predictably, the nation can’t hide its delight and excitement as it waits for 20 April when they shall at last see the couple in all their wedding finery! Alas the venue will be barricaded by scores of security guards, hundreds of paparazzi will still hound the precincts and thousands of fans will jostle for a glimpse of the blessed couple, as the crème de la crème of the nation, with their invitations secured with barcodes, shall alone pass through the gates . . .

While several starlets are dating others within the industry, it has been a while since a Bollywood couple walked the aisle together. “Both my kids chose their sweethearts much before they shot to fame. Suzanne met Hrithik when he was not a star and Zayed also ended up marrying his school sweetheart,” observes Zarine Khan, Sanjay Khan’s wife. And there are many others like Karisma Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Madhuri Dixit, who have all said their “I dos” with industry outsiders. And maybe thus Abhishek and Aishwarya’s wedding becomes all the more special as their marriage comes after a long lull in true blue Bollywood couples’ nuptials. After all there was a day when heroes and heroines of the silver screen helplessly fell for each other much more frequently and happily consummated their relationships. Be it Shammi Kapoor and Geeta Bali, Randhir Kapoor and Babita, Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, Sanjay Dutt and Richa Sharma or Kajol and Ajay Devgan, the list could go on an on of these happy couples who leapt into the unknown together, like our Ash and Abhi are about to. While some have indeed lived the happily ever after dream, others like Dimple and Rajesh and Randhir and Babita haven’t been so lucky. BOLLYGAMY BALLADS! When Bollywood couples begin going around, some real-life lip-smacking masala is dished out to the hoi polloi. A really touching love story commenced when the not-yet 18 Madhubala sent Dilip Kumar a rose and a letter written in Urdu. Many movies later their beautiful romance was run aground by Madhubala’s dad. As their relationship crumbled, Dilip took to another cine queen Saira Banu while Madhubala went on to marry another co-star Kishore Kumar. The ebullient Raj Kapoor was a married man with a child when he fell for Nargis on the sets of Shri 420 and though his responsibilities impeded their marriage, they did star together in 15 movies. Eventually, Nargis went on to marry Sunil Dutt, who proved to be her knight in shining armour as he swooped in to save her from a freak fire on the sets of the Oscar nominated Mother India. Unlike Nargis, Hema Malini’s Punjabi paramour Dharmendra, despite already being a married man with kids, consummated their whirlwind romance with a secret marriage. Talking of hush-hush marriages, Sridevi and Mithunda can’t be far behind. Sridevi toppled head over heels over the Disco Dancer Mithun Chakraborty, husband to actress Yogita Bali, on the sets of Jaag Utha Insan. Sridevi allegedly first asked his wife to leave him but upon her refusal, the two secretly married. While later Mithun decided to stay with Yogita, some years later, cupid struck Sridevi again, and she found herself another married man, film producer Boney Kapoor, who went on to leave his first wife for her and fathered her children.

Ash and Abhi have had a fair share of controversial relationships as well. If Ash has had previous relationships with co-stars Salmaan Khan followed by Vivek Oberoi, which were made memorable by Salmaan’s jealous outbursts; Abhishek too kept the tabloid writers busy when not too long ago he was engaged to Bollywood’s then reigning queen Karisma Kapoor. Ash soon left Vivek and Abhishek and Karisma’s alliance fell through . . . and finally they found true love with each other . . . BOLLYGAMY BALLADS! “To me marriages are made in heaven and I wish both Abhishek and Aishwarya, who seem like an ideal match a very happy marriage. Aishwarya is an intelligent girl and I’m sure she’ll go according to the Bachchan khandaan,” said Zareen Khan, perhaps hinting at rumours of Ash temporarily suspending her career to take time out for kids. “There is no magic equation to a successful alliance,” opines actress, film maker and wife of Mahesh Bhatt, Soni Razdan and continues, “My only advice to Aishwarya and Abhishek would be to give each other a lot of space, which they might not be willing to give in the beginning but eventually would have to considering that both of them are career-oriented people.” Actor Archana Puran Singh too offers advice to Ash, “All men are like children! So treat your man like a child. Don’t expect too much because expecting too much in a married life could end in disappointment.”

And while we march off to go and crack that barcode on the wedding invites, we let Dimple Kapadia read our minds “I wish them all the happiness in the world!”

Anu Gulmohar with inputs from

Neha Sarin and Megha Jaitly BOLLYGAMY BALLADS! Ek Duje ke Liye…forever

Dilip Kumar-Saira Banu: Make way for the original Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher! (With genders reversed of course!) While Demi and Ashton are about 15 years apart, Dilip and Saira with their 22 years age-gap have proven that in love, age’s no bar!

Hema Malini-Dharmendra: Not Sanjeev Kumar or Jeetendra, only our Dharmendra paaji would do for the Dream Girl!

Rishi Kapoor-Neetu: Khel Khel Mein the two got hooked for good!

Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri: Silsila – The long and short of it.

Kajol-Ajay Devgan: Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha… BOLLYGAMY BALLADS! Romances: Around the trees and off the screen!

Mithun Chakraborty-Sridevi: Smoking hot affair swept under the carpet…

Sunny Deol- Dimple Kapadia: Ghayal for 11 years, Iron Man’s marital life with wife Pooja remains just as sunny as ever!

Amitabh Bachchan-Rekha: Unlike Ash, this Umrao Jaan couldn’t become a Bachchan too…

Abhishek Bachchan-Karisma Kapoor: Prem Qaidi but for a while... At last Ash would be Biwi No.1
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017