Love is in the air!
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Love is in the air!

With a lot of high profile weddings taking place, the year seems all set to see love in the air, writes Nabanita Sircar.

india Updated: Mar 31, 2004 20:44 IST

It's that week of the year when love is supposedly in the air, well, at least for those who believe in Valentine's Day. For others it's another week when almost anything in stores ranging from perfumes, wines, food items to anything you can possibly imagine comes with a heart-shaped tag or a special Valentine's Day offer to surprise or please your lover with.

I guess we all need something to perk ourselves up with in the post Christmas - New Year gloomy period, particularly with bloated credit card statements and bank reminders. This year, at least the first half of the year, promises to be quite a happening one.

Love is indeed in the air because so many I know are tying the knot. There will be some weddings to watch. In what is likely to be one of the most high profile events on the Indian social calendar, Vanisha, the 23-year-old daughter of London-based billionaire steel magnate, Lakshmi Mittal and his wife Usha, is getting married to Amit Bhatia, grandson of London socialites Pasha and Kamal Saigal. When Mittal's son Aditya got married, the Victoria Memorial Hall was hired in Kolkata for a reception, so I am sure we can see some lavish surprises when Vanisha marries in June.

Salman and Padma

The marriage to watch will definitely be that of author Salman Rushdie and his girlfriend Padma Lakshmi. For a serious author like Rushdie its Mills & Boon time. Sadly, though, Rushdie no longer likes England so the wedding will be in New York, but I'm sure we'll read and see enough about it. Knowning the interest in their love affair, and the publicity, the event won't be a quiet one.

The 56-year-old author and his Indian-born lover, who is 20 years his junior, are to take the plunge in April. I believe invitations are already being sent out. Their relationship has kept us scribes interested, with them reportedly splitting up because Padma was not "intellectually challenging" for RushdieRushdie. But then they were soon back together and "in love". The culmination of such an explosive relationship, in marriage, is bound to be one of the literary-social events of the year.

Arun and Liz: Will they marry?

I simply cannot write anymore about marriages, it will make me feel like a marriage bureau ad. As a friend of mine told me the other day that she already knows about seven marriages taking place this year. "It's a year of marriages," she commented. So will we hear wedding bells for Liz Hurley and Arun Nair? Who knows!

This year we Indians will be pretty high on events. The much-hyped Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice will have its initial showings for selected buyers from June 30 to July 2 at the National Film Theatre in London. The UK Film Council and Film London will be bankrolling the event in which about two dozen films will be showcased for international buyers. But, no, Bride and Prejudice will not be ready in time for the Cannes film festival in May, so we will be missing the visual delight of our own Aishwarya Rai strutting around in glamorous outfits at Cannes!

Where's happiness and success, often tragedy creeps in too. The one recent tragedy that I simply cannot get out of my head is that in the Chiti family. We scribes generally report a tragedy, even as heart-wrenching as that of Dr Chiti's suicide and double murder, with a clinical detachment and then move on to another story. The horrific deaths have bothered most of us. How will the 11-year-old son Anirudh, the only survivor in the tragedy, lead a normal life in the knowledge that his father killed his mother so brutally and then committed suicide by jumping off a bridge with his two-year-old baby brother? Can professional jealousy actually drive a man to this?

I wonder how a man, who was a doctor by profession, meant to save lives, take the lives of his family. May be we will never know what went on in Dr Chiti's mind that led him to commit such a heinous act. But lets move on!

I was surprised the other day when a British journalist called up to learn about Hindu Law. No, he wasn't planning for an academic career in the subject, instead he was reporting on the family feud behind the Patak's empire. It seems to be turning out to be a case of washing dirty linen in public, with Kirit Pathak's sister Chitralekha claiming her share in the multi-million pound Patak Spice company and accusing her brother of being devious and dishonest. True, money does not buy happiness! It does buy a lot of legal headache. Even basere se dur!

First Published: Feb 11, 2004 19:39 IST