What went wrong with Aamir and Reena?
Can Bollywood relationships survive under the microscope?
At least three star couples of the Hindi film industry have decided to go their separate ways recently.
On Monday, December 9, actor Aamir Khan and his wife Reena filed a petition for mutual divorce at a family court in Mumbai. They cited 'temperamental differences' as the reason for their separation.
Aamir and Reena, who were married on April 18, 1986, have been living separately since October 2001, right after rumours of the actor's alleged affair with his Dil Chahta Hai costar Priety Zinta, began pouring in. Reena has been staying at a separate
flat in Bandra, a Mumbai suburb in which Aamir too has a home, since.
According to the terms mentioned in the petition, and to which both of them have agreed, Reena will have the custody of their children, Junaid (9) and Aira (4). Aamir is allowed to meet his children thrice a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 6 pm to 8 pm. He will also have a right to meet his kids on alternate weekends every month, from Friday 7 pm till Sunday 6 pm.
Aamir and Reena have decided to share summer and Christmas vacations equally with their children. If a child spends summer vacation with one parent, s/he will have a choice to spend Christmas with the other, the petition stated.
When contacted, Aamir refused to come on the line. Rumours about the actor's several affairs in the past, including a torrid one with Pooja Bhatt, who starred with him in Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin, has made headlines before, but no one really took them seriously.
The second talked-about breakup, is that of Sanjay Dutt and his wife Rhea Pillai. Their marriage has been on rocks ever since rumours of Dutt's numerous affairs began filtering in. They are still officially married, but both live separately. Rhea is now busy taking Art of Living courses, and doing some modelling work, while Sanjay is busy with his film career.
Dutt admits that his marriage has been on rocks for a long time. "I have signed on at least seven films in the last one year. All of them are being shot now. I don't know what to do with my time, so I keep working. My personal life is almost over," Sanjay reveals.
Talking about his estranged wife, Dutt says, "Rhea and me will always care for each other and be there for each other. That is what counts in the end, not that we are no longer together."
Sanjay and Rhea were married three years ago, on an impulse on February 14, on Valentine's Day. Rhea stood steadfast besides Sanjay through his tough days in prison, when he was imprisoned for allegedly possessing AK-47s, which were suspected to have been purchased from underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's brother, Anees Ibrahim.
The third shocking and unexpected breakup is between Vivek Oberoi and his fiancee Gurpreet Gill. The two were engaged three months ago and threw one of glitziest bashes in recent times, attended by almost all of the Hindi film industry's biggies.
Over the past few months, Bollywood grapevine was abuzz with the news about serious differences between Vivek and Gurpreet. Both of them refused to comment on the same then.
The couple has now called off their engagement and ended their love story with a messy separation. Though they tried to work out their problems, the rift between them only widened until both families intervened and the relationship was called off.
Close family and friends insist it was the most sensible thing to do, as their temperaments just did not suit each other. Besides, some friends close to the couple say that Vivek's dad Suresh Oberoi never did get along with the overbearing Gurpreet, who is said to have taken over the mantle of advisor to Vivek, from him.
While Gurpreet is back to modelling and is said to be partying every night with friends to get over her depression, Vivek is maintaining a dignified silence over the matter. When contacted on the sets of Sameer Karnik's movie, Vivek said, "I don't want to talk about it anymore. It is very personal. Right now, my only concern is my work. That is what keeps me going."
Gurpreet is more vocal. She says, "Vivek and I had a lovely relationship while it lasted, but the film industry is known to consume relationships. I am feeling very low now and don't want to talk about it."
The split between the two might have shocked some in the industry, but others insist that fame and success has a negative effect on relationships. Says director Mahesh Bhatt, "It is not easy to live in the limelight constantly. You need to be really tough to survive the kind of attention that stardom brings."
Most relationships do not survive the test that the media and the general public puts it through. Being constantly written about in the papers, and having their personal lives speculated on obviously puts a huge pressure on the stars and their relationships.
Says psychiatrist Harish Thawani of Bombay Hospital, whose list of clients include the who's who of Mumbai's high society and Bollywood personalities, "Most stars can't handle the fame, the money, the adulation they receive. Relationships are very fragile and they have to be nurtured. Marriages, too, need to be worked upon. Where do the stars have the time to do that?"
India News Feature Service