Friday, April 20, 2007

Cream of Bollywood at heartthrobs' wedding

In the celeb fixation that has engulfed the media, we are used to the frenzy about "hot" entertainment industry couples and their weddings, but in Mumbai yesterday, edgy police were hoping the metaphor didn't get real.

About 500 of the Indian financial and film centre's finest were on guard for the Bollywood wedding of the century, between the actors Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan, armed with fire extinguishers in case any of Rai's distraught fans turned to self-immolation at the thought of her giving herself to another.

The event is fascinating at many levels: the sheer romance of the Bachchan film dynasty's scion marrying India's most-celebrated beauty; the detail of the finery employed (the silk saris, the 50 kilograms of henna); the astrological superstition that still envelops even highly educated people like these in their nuptials.

As a manglik, or someone with Mars in the ascendancy, Rai carried the risk of illness and early death for her husband. This fate was diverted from Bachchan when Rai "married" a banana tree last month. Love triangles are one thing, but few involve sick banana trees.

Most interesting is the guest list for the three days of very private ceremonies at the Mumbai mansion of the patriarch Amitabh Bachchan. It illustrates a powerful intersection of three worlds: business, entertainment and politics.

The central figure was not the Big B, but a tubby, moustachioed MP, Amar Singh, who has deftly drawn leading figures from film and business into his web.

Singh is the secretary-general of the Samajwadi Party, which rules the huge northern state of Uttar Pradesh, population 175 million, where political shifts often swing the nation.

The party is based on the large, upwardly thrusting Hindu lower castes, mostly the Yadavs, among them the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, also a wedding guest.

Amar Singh is actually an upper-caste Rajput, but that is no barrier in caste-based politics. Mulayam's chief adversary in the state elections now under way (in several stages, with 100,000 police and paramilitary troops being rotated for security) is a lady called Mayawati, who comes from the Dalit, or former untouchable, non-castes, and she has recruited 50 Brahmins, members of the highest caste, as candidates.

According to the new book In Spite of the Gods, by Edward Luce, Singh has converted his Lutyens-designed MP's bungalow in New Delhi into a fantasy worthy of a James Bond villain: lashings of white marble, soft-porn statuary, giant plasma TV screens in every room, and a fold-back ceiling that reveals a glass pyramid modelled on the Louvre extension.

Anil Ambani dances his way to Prateeksha for the wedding of Abhishek on April 20, 2007.

Locals use a nearby tree as a vantage point, clambering all over for a glimpse of the Abhishek's baraat
Abhishek Bachchan arrives on horseback along with his baraat at Pratiksha for his wedding

Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan, seated on horse, waves as his wedding procession takes off from 'Jalsa,' to 'Prateeksha', in Mumbai
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan, father of Abhishek Bachchan, leaves his residence for, his son, Abhishek's wedding ceremony in Mumbai
Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan arrives for the wedding ceremony of Abhishek Bachchan at Jalsa in Mumbai
Sonali Bendre performs a pre-nuptial ritual at the Bachchan residence in Mumbai. Also seen in the picture is Goldie Behl (Sonali's husband) who is Abhishek's childhood friend.

Guests and friends of the Bachchan family including Sikander Kher and Sonali Bendre perform a pre-nuptial ritual at the Bachchan residence in Mumbai

Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai arrives in a decorated car for her marriage to Abhishek Bachchan at the Bachchan house 'Prateeksha' in Mumbai


Aravind samantaray said...

aish i love u.......

Aravind samantaray said...

you look so nice dear.......
please give me a call 08093504252,iam a very big fan of yours..


Aravind samantaray said...

aish i want you to come my home for a launch or dinner with avishek and amitab sir..please do come once please.......08093504252