Light, sound Shehnai

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Light, sound Shehnai

Sunday, 30 December 2018 | Vikram Bhatt

Light, sound Shehnai

It all started with Anushka and Virat’s wedding, I think, I could be wrong. I am confused about the timeline. Then it was Sonam Kapoor, followed by Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja in May and Deepika and Ranveer in November, to bring the year to an end with the Priyanka and Nick Jonas wedding. To put it succinctly, the media and the film fraternity have been “weddinged out.” 2018 shall be remembered as the year when most Hindi film actresses got married.

There have been a lot of opinions on these marriages, on the festivities, on the guest list, on the destinations and I believe a foreign newspaper went as far as calling Priyanka a scam artist for marrying Nick Jonas. I have no clue what the scam might be in marrying someone you love but then to each their own opinion I suppose.

A lot has been said about the ostentatious nature of the marriages as well. I have no idea why people who make money all their lives to enjoy it, should suddenly become frugal when it comes to spending it. Have it, flaunt it, would be my opinion. Get married on the moon if it makes you happy! People are going to have an opinion regardless of what you do.

However, this piece is supposed to be about my opinion and what I think about these marriages. Allow me a bit of a flashback to elaborate on my opinion then.

The year is 1987 and I am an assistant director on the sets of a film. Clipboard in hand, I stand mutely in a corner, waiting for the shot to be lit up, while close by sit the director and the actress engaged in a conversation. I confess I eavesdropped. Blame it on the age.

The actress was sharing her dilemma with the director. Her films were doing well and she was on top of the game but she also wanted to settle down and be married, have a family and children. The director did understand her fears. Once married it was always tough to be an actress. I did see the actress in a few films down the years, so I suppose she did not get married. But her dilemma stayed with me.

Marriage or career? What a devil’s alternative. Love or ambition? Cruel choice to have to make.

Flash forward to 2018! The marriages of the actresses. And my opinion? My opinion is more an action in slow motion. I stand up, raise my hands, and begin to clap with respect. I don’t care where these ladies got married, to whom they got married, who they invited or how much they spent.

I admire these ladies for breaking the shackles. I admire them for getting married in the summer of the careers. They have smashed the decaying, narrow minded assumption that once an actress is married, she is no good for the public, that she has outlived her utility. These ladies have looked that belief in the face and said: “To hell with it. We are actors first and last, actors before marriage-after marriage and nothing should and will change that.” Bravo!

What is more, with this emancipation they have also put to rest one very redundant belief that an actress is in a film only for the titillation of the male audience. Which was why, marriage had been a no-no in the first place. Why would the audience want to ogle at a woman who belonged to someone else, was the reasoning?

These ladies have shouted out loud and clear that they are not here for their bodies but for their talent and what is more the audience has only agreed with them. Marriage has not taken the sheen off any of these ladies. They are only more gorgeous and only more interesting than they were.

These marriages have not been marriages at all. They have been the end of a long freedom movement and it gives me great pride to see that the devil’s alternate has been stomped out and the devil vanquished. Hurrah to courage!


The Isha Ambani-Anand Piramal wedding cost nearly $100 million. The invitation card box which is worth Rs 3 lakh each. More than 100 chartered flights flew the guests to and from Udaipur’s Maharana Pratap Airport. As gratitude to the city of Udaipur, the Ambanis donated enough food to feed 5,100 people three meals a day for four days.

DeepVeer got married at Villa del Balbianello, one of the most sought-after properties of Lake Como, Italy. They spent Rs 24,75,000 per day and Rs 1,73,25,000 for the entire week.

Deepika Padukone's Sabyasachi lehenga for her Sindhi wedding was worth whopping Rs 8.95 lakh. Deepika has spent Rs 1 crore on her wedding jewellery and apparently her mangalsutra is worth around Rs 20 lakh. Deepika’s humongous wedding ring is priced between Rs 1.3 to Rs 2.7 crore

Priyanka ChOpra & Nick Jonas held their Christian ceremony and reception at the Taj Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. the couple and their guests booked the entire palace from November 29 to December 3 for an estimated $92,000 per night, that would cost about $565,000 total

Sonam Kapoor’s wedding ring cost a whopping Rs  90 lakh and a custom-made mangalsutra that had the sun signs of Sonam and Anand engraved on it. The couple tied the knot in aamchi Mumbai

 (The writer is Filmmaker)

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