Playing second fiddle? | 2008-02-22
Bollywood babes and their thing for second hand husbands
I have often mulled over this and it doesn't seem like just another co-incidence to me. What keeps me wondering is the fact that most Bollywood heroines have this major thing going for either married or divorced men!
And mind you, it's not a new phenomenon. Years back, Shabana Azmi married Javed Akhtar who left Honey Irani and children Farhan and Zoya to be with her. Soni Razdan chose to be the second wife of the director who gave her the only good roles of her career- Mahesh Bhatt (show of gratitude, should we say?)
Dream girl Hema Malini broke many hearts when she hitched her wagon with the much married Dharmendra who had a wife and two grown up sons to look after.
In fact, South Indian heroines coming to Bollywood had become 'in' famous for 'stealing other women's husbands.'
Jaya Prada had got married to Srikanth Nahata who was not single either. Before that, Vyjantimala married Dr. Bali, a married man, after an alleged affair with the happily married (or so they thought) Raj Kapoor. Earlier, the legendary love affair of Raj Kapoor and Nargis became a much discussed subject!
In the mid 90s, I remember many die hard fans hoped their once upon a time numero uno heroine Sridevi with a 'career on the slowdown mode' needed to settle down fast, as her biological clock was ticking away(guess she was hitting her late 30s then). And man how she did! She hooked up with Boney Kapoor who was married to (and still is) Mona Shourie and also happened to be the brother of her prolific co star, Anil Kapoor. The so called strict bigamy rules in India be damned!
Before that there were rumours that she had secretly married and divorced Mithun Chakraborthy, the husband of Yogeeta Bali.
And then there was Juhi Chawla who was linked up to Neetu Singh's 'perfect husband' Rishi Kapoor( not sure whether they were just rumours or something was actually cooking up between the two, but as they say there is no smoke without fire) and later chose to marry widower industrialist Jai Mehta, some say to honour what was the last wish of her mother. Juhi somehow manages to continue with her good girl image on and off the screen!
Karisma Kapoor had once famously said, "I will never be anybody's second choice." But years later after her much publicized engagement break with Abhishek Bachchan, she happily developed amnesia and got married to Sanjay Kapur who was earlier married to Nandita Mahthani. I had heard somewhere that Karisma had danced at Sanjay and Nandita's wedding. Now I don't know how true that is, but I completely understand how past memories make Nandita still spew venom. And as an antidote, she must have gone into dating youngsters left right and centre- from Dino Morea to someone as young as Lolo's cousin Ranbir.
Karisma's once upon a time rival Raveena Tandon with whom she had famous catfights, followed her footsteps by marrying divorcee Anil Thadani and later kept the gossip mills happy with public antics as pouring wine on his ex wife's head.
When Mahima Chaudhury's pregnancy made much news, she revealed to the world that she was married to divorcee father Bobby Mukherjee in the US. Rani Mukerji and Aditya Chopra's alleged affair which led to a 'roka' ceremony (or whatever!) and Adi's separation from wife Payal whom his parents really liked, has created enough turmoil and disturbance in the household as well as the Yash Raj office.
And serial dater Sushmita Sen has a long history with married men. Her affair with Vikram Bhatt almost broke up his home, and then there was Sanjay Narang and more lately Manav Menon. Amisha Patel took up where Sushmita left. She fought with her folks, shared her home and hearth with Vikram Bhatt for years until the recent break up and her discovery of Mr Right in London.
Priyanka Chopra's affair with Akshay Kumar threatened his marriage with Twinkle Khanna big time.
As for once upon a time oomph babe Urmila Matondkar, rumours are still rife that she was once actually or almost married to Ram Gopal Varma and later dated a married guy with a big time jewellery business.
Kiran Rao was no actress but an assistant director. But filmdom's heady charms got the better of her and she aptly followed the footsteps of our leading ladies by getting bowled over by Bollywood's only intellectual actor Aamir Khan. Ditto for Jessica Heines, who came all the way from Britain to write about Bollywood and allegedly had an illegitimate son Jaan with Aamir.
The latest to join the bandwagon is Shilpa Shetty who was nonexistent on our radars till something called 'Big Brother' happned. She is seeing the separated Raj Kundra after surviving huge link ups rumours with her married director Anubhav Sinha in the past. And as everybody is aware, Kareena Kapoor had a huge public break up with long time beau Shahid Kapur and landed up in the arms of Saif Ali Khan the one with an elderly wife Amrita, two kids and an Italian girlfriend in his track record. And who can forget that Bebo's special something for Hrithik Roshan some years back was keeping his dear wife Sussanne terribly unhappy for long.
If you go to look at it, among top stars of today only Aishwarya( she never really dated any hitched men) and Madhuri( regardless of the affair with Sanjay Dutt) have settled down with bachelors.
So what's with Bollywood babes choosing married men for marriage or romance?
I have actually read one of them explain it famously; "It's all about their experience of life. They have seen it all. Their ability to understand you, pamper you and not repeat the same mistake is alluring to women. It's dangerous ground to tread. But perhaps this is the most defining moment in a woman's life."
One source however decided to put it his mean way. "These heroines too have seen it all. They have gone through things like the casting couch which is an open secret in the industry. So these married and experienced men are good match for them. As simple as that."
Or should we be blaming the men going through major mid life crises in their lives, for leading these pretty and glamorous girls astray? Do they feel good about being seen with the perfect arm candies?
It's Bollywood and everything here gets complicated. I have found no proper explanation yet. I still keep wondering and speculating.