Though arranged marriages are popular among a large section of Indians, rarely do we hear of celebrities going in for such alliances. But that does not mean that such marriages don’t happen. In fact, in recent years, a number of stars have opted for this approach.
Topping this list is Shahid Kapoor, who surprised everyone by going in for an arranged marriage after reportedly meeting Mira Rajput through the religious group, Radha Soami Satsang Beas. Other celebrities too have taken this route include Bollywood actors Madhuri Dixit, Vivek Oberoi and Esha Deol, TV actors Karan Patel and Jay Soni, and cricketers Rahul Dravid and Yusuf Pathan, among many others.
The latest celebrity to do so is Divyanka Tripathi. The TV actor will get married to Vivek Dahiya on July 8 — this alliance is the result of the concerted matchmaking efforts of fellow actor Pankaj Bhatia, who plays Divyanka’s brother-in-law on a TV show. She says, “We met with the sole intention of getting married. We realised that we were meant to be together in our third or fourth meeting. He met my definition of a perfect dream man.” When asked why she opted for an arranged marriage, she says, “It wasn’t something I had planned. We met and fell in love. I believe in the institution of marriage. I don’t believe in divorces. I want to be there till the end — whether it’s on my show, or in real life.”
Vivek Oberoi, who also had an arranged marriage with Priyanka Alva, says that, at times, being a celebrity makes it difficult for them to find a genuine relationship on their own. With the kind of hectic and high pressure lifestyles most stars lead, it’s difficult to find someone who is normal and real. “People have agendas, and that makes it even tougher for a celebrity to open up and trust someone. And in matters of the heart, trust is most important,” says Vivek Oberoi.
The Bollywood actor adds that marriage is a deep bond that goes beyond attraction. “I didn’t want to compromise on who I married. I was deeply lonely before I met Priyanka. But now I feel like I’m home. It has been five years. We are blessed with two amazing children, and every day, I fall deeper in love with my wife. An arranged marriage also brings with it the romance of discovering each other over time,” he says.
But even going in for an arranged marriage isn’t always easy for celebrities because of their star status. People often get influenced by their fame and on-screen personalities, and expect them to behave exactly like their
on-screen characters. “When someone comes to meet you with a preconceived notion, it’s difficult to find a match,” says Divyanka. Luckily, for her, Vivek Dahiya had studied and worked in the UK, and wasn’t “influenced by my roles on TV, or by my fame”.
A popular TV star, Karan got married to Ankita Bhargava on May 3, 2015. He says he was always open to the idea of an arranged marriage, and when he met Ankita, he felt she was the right partner for him. Karan says there are advantages to marrying a person from a different profession. He says, “Celebrities always have limited time at their disposal. In arranged marriages, you keep discovering something new about each other. And that gives the relationship an element of fun and adventure.”
Other celebrities who have had arranged marriages:
1. Dhanush and Aishwarya Rajinikanth
2. Madhuri Dixit and Shriram Nene
3. Nikitin Dheer and Kratika Sengar
4. Jay Soni and Pooja Shah
5. Karisma Kapoor and Sanjay Kapur
6. Govinda and Sunita Ahuja
7. Esha Deol and Bharat Takhtani
8. Rahul Dravid and Vijeta Pendharkar
9. Yusuf Pathan and Afreen Khan
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