While Bollywood is getting more and more adventurous in its portrayal of romances, celebrities are following a different route altogether. With Mahendra Dhoni’s secret marriage to a non-celebrity last month, and Vivek Oberoi plans to tie the knot with Priyanka Alva, a girl picked by his parents, the trend of conventional and “arranged marriages”, as counsellors call them, seems to be coming back into fashion.
Dr Rajiv Anand, a counsellor says, “Most marriages these days find it hard to finish five years. And a majority of these crumbling ties are so-called love marriages. Sadly and surprisingly, I come across a large number of youngsters who after a few years themselves realise that they made the wrong decision.”
Celebrities like Madhuri Dixit too have been married to people out of the media glare and have managed to maintain their relationship until now. Are the expectations from a ‘media marriage’ any different?
Dr Hiten Shah, a marriage counsellor says, “Celebrities want to feel like a normal person when they return home to their family. So if they are married to someone who doesn’t share the same publicity glare that they do on a regular basis, it helps differentiate the worlds for them.”
So what is it about arranged marriages, which is causing them to make a comeback? “The fact that sometimes the young generation does not have the same objectivity about certain characteristics that parents can have. Vivek Oberoi has made a wise step in that direction and respected his parents’ decision,” says Anand.
Meanwhile, relationships like those of Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan too are examples of how bonds based on love, and not marriage, can work. “Nothing is written in stone. Kareena and Saif have committed to each other verbally, and in the media, and yet manage to keep their relationship secure,” says Shah.
For celebrities, an arranged marriage could provide the right balance. “A popular personality has a major part of his life outside his home,” says Shah. “These people get married to partners who don’t have a public life, so they can nurture and care for them. If both the partners share that lifestyle, they would both feel deprived.”