Could you please shut the door? Yeh Mumbai hai, yahan machchar nahi, helicopter hote hain," says a voice to our photographer who’s standing by the open balcony door. We don’t have to turn around to see who it is. A voice having the gravity that’s trademark of Bachchan men, with that typical mischievous tone, can belong only to one man — Abhishek Bachchan. Soon, the woman—whose beauty is perhaps written about more than the war in Afghanistan—stunning in a gorgeous dull golden dress, joins her man. We are with Abhishek Bachchan and his wife of two years, Aishwarya, in the living room that’s stunningly done up in shades of gold and red with an overall ethnic flavour. What an accent sir ji
So how have the two blissful years of marriage been? "I still wake up in the morning and revel in the fact that I share the same room as Aishwarya Rai," smiles Abhishek. She instantly echoes the sentiment, "Me too. Just to wake up next to each other is a blessing, an absolute joy." The couple met for the first time in Switzerland when Ash was shooting for Aur Pyar Ho Gaya and Abhishek, all of 21, was visiting on work. Ash laughingly recalls, "When he started talking, I could not get a word of what he said.
|AbhishekBachchan, son of superstars Amitabh and JayaBachchan is a successful and critically acclaimed actor. The only winner ever of three consecutive Filmfare awards as best Supporting actor, he’s also recipient of the YashBharatiSamman, the highest honour by the Uttar Pradesh Government. |
AishwaryaRaiBachchan is a former Miss World and a successful Hindi film actress, apart from being the face of several national and international brands. She’s credited as being the global face of Indian cinema in Hollywood. She has graced the cover of Time magazine and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show. PadmaShriAishwaryaBachchan is a recipient of three Filmfare awards and Rajiv Gandhi Award for excellence in cinema.
The ‘normal’ Abhishek
So what glue binds them together now? “Our common value system,” says Ash. “We were both from nuclear families. My dad was a marine engineer, so used to stay away from home a lot. Pa [Abhishek’s dad], was mostly away for work too. But still we both got a very cultured and grounded upbringing. Full marks to his parents for raising him and his sister in such a normal way.” “Oh, so finally you admit that I’m normal,” teases Abhishek and her laughter rings a thousand bells.
Ash —the grandma
Abhishek truly has a gift of gab. We ask him what he likes most about her and he counter questions, “How much paper do you have?” Plenty, we assure him and he continues, “Her ability to make you believe that you can set very high standards in your mind about your dream partner and it is still possible to get such a person.” “Awww,” says Ash, clearly moved, “I love this interview, can we go on forever?”
Abhishek continues, “My parents are most important to me in life. The way she has fitted into their lives, even before we got married, is amazing. I feel they think of her as more of a daughter than they think of me as a son. Also, she has an obsession of taking care of people. You are the luckiest if you are unwell when she’s around. When you come home in the evening, she’ll ask, ‘how was your day? Are you hungry? Shall I get you something? She’s the grandmother of the house. A close friend Srishti Arya, who’s like a sister to me, actually asked me on my wedding day on the stage, ‘how have you managed to marry your own mother?’”
It’s mush-mush time
It’s Ash’s turn. “I think we are like this child-man and child-woman, who love being their natural self. Like I giggle, and a lot is written about it.” “Oh, stop it,” interrupts Abhishek. “No let me,” she says, almost at a pain to clarify, “whether someone likes it or not, the child in us will always be there. At the same time we are mature when that’s needed.” Abhishek holds his head in his hands, “Sorry, my answer was way better than yours.” She starts again, “you see, we may not be mushy all the time, but,”— and he interrupts again, “hey, say something about me. I said such good things about you. You are making me sound like the world’s most boring person. They won’t get what you just said.” “Oh of course she’s getting what I’m trying to say [she points towards me], a woman always understands another woman.” Aishwarya is right. Even as she struggles to phrase it right (despite his constant but loving interruptions), her eyes proclaim her love much louder than words. She finally finds the right words too, “His clarity in life is incredible. In the first year of our marriage, we saw many harsh realities of life. This man pulled through remarkably. It warms my
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heart to think I’ve got married to such a strong person. I can’t thank God enough, not for the surname he has, but for the man that he is.”
Abhishek claps, “There you go.”
Of family and kids
Is he as good a son-in-law as he is as a son? Her eyes lighten up. “My parents love him so much, he’s totally the apple of their eye.” Abhishek adds, “They were formal initially, that whole damaad thing, but I’m quite a charmer. I don’t call before I go over to my in-laws. I just hop over the bed and ask for food. Similarly, although no one can ever take my sister’s place, Ash is a second daughter to my parents. For a young girl who’s moved into a new home, it can be quite intimidating to have Amitabh Bachchan say ‘good morning’ to you every morning [imitates his father’s authoritative voice]. But today, my dad talks more with her than me.”
How does it feel to stay in a joint family, a near-extinct tradition in urban India? “Most natural,” says Abhishek, “I know we live in cynical times where people talk about marriages that don’t work and in-laws that ill treat, but I have witnessed only love and respect in my family. When I see my parents with my sister Shweta’s kids, I think there’s no way I can rob my own children, whenever we have them, of this love.”
Now that he’s mentioned kids, we’ve got to talk about the national obsession with when they would start a family. “Don’t know what’s with the constant speculation about Ash’s pregnancy. After all, it’s God’s blessing, whenever it happens, everyone would anyway come to know. People don’t realize that this is something that can not be hidden. I mean she’ll gain weight, her stomach will show —so why create such a fuss. When it has to happen, it will.”