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Standing up for oneself

>> Are we the only ones who feel that besides giving Hrithik and Suzanne their space to get through a difficult phase — the couple ought to be afforded a certain amount of congratulations for their courage and honesty in taking this decision?

Separation is not the end of the world (and we can say this with a certain measure of confidence) but there is nothing more debilitating and soul destroying than being trapped in a bad marriage.


Hrithik and Suzanne

And for too long couples, who married young and in very different circumstances only to find that they have grown into different people — have stuck together for the sake of the kids or out of fear of what people would say. They lead lives of quiet despair.

In the case of Bollywood stars, it’s even tougher as they are under constant scrutiny and have to take into consideration how their fans will react.

That two people of such high-profile could stand up for themselves and what they truly want out of their lives is a very valuable lesson in self actualisation and integrity.


Sunaina Roshan

Too many Bollywood marriages are fake pretences and in most cases it’s the wives who have been given the short end of the stick.

They stick around for the sake of convention or the kids or material benefits or the security or because they just don’t know what else to do with their lives.

Well, the fact that Suzanne has a career, a support system in her family and friends and the knowledge that she will come through is a measure of how far we’ve come as a society.

Perhaps, the silver lining in the Hrithik–Suzanne affair is that it will encourage more couples in the industry and outside to have the confidence to walk out of miserable situations and do what is right for themselves regardless of what society thinks.


Farah Khan Ali

As for those who are shedding crocodile tears about the whole situation, mostly as an excuse to elicit more gossip about it, here are the words of Suzanne’s sister, the feisty Farah Khan who posted this message on Facebook, “Dear friends, if you consider me one, let me make it loud and clear. I rather not discuss my sister and my brother-in-law. So please keep your concern and caring to yourself and express it to either of them if you should ever interact with them because a separation is not the end of the world. If they are meant to be, they will.” And not only were her words the most sensible comment on the affair but we noticed one of the first people to like them were none other than Hrithik’s sister Sunaina, who added, “I agree Farah.”

When the couple’s own family is being so sensible and positive then what need for all this breast beating and soul searching, we say.

Offshore trouble
>> A high-profile Bollywood personality, a billionaire NRI industrialist and a former UK Prime minister. What on earth could have brought them together recently in London? If insiders are to be believed it was a crisis that would have resulted in many red faces if it had been allowed to unfold, when the Bollywood personality was apprehended for substance possession.

That’s when the influence of a steely tycoon was called in to make that midnight call to the politician and matters were papered over.

It helps to have friends in the right places!

Spiritual advice
>> And word comes in that the real reason why Mukesh Ambani has decided to extract himself from all traces of his non-vegetarian businesses is because his family guru Rameshbhai Oza (who is addressed as Bhaishri by the entire Ambani clan) has so decreed.

Insiders say that the deep bonds between Oza — who heads the Sanskruti Foundation, which has a presence in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand — and the Ambanis developed in the early 90s when the late Dhirubhai Ambani invited the spiritual leader to his Mumbai home.


Kokilaben with Mukesh and Nita Ambani

Following the demise of the patriarch in 2002, ties have only strengthened especially since Kokilaben has sought the spiritual leader’s advice in many crises, especially during the split between her two sons.

What’s more, India’s wealthiest family is not the Saurashtra born guru’s only powerful devotees.

No less than Amitabh Bachchan in the company of his erstwhile friend Amar Singh is reported to have visited Oza’s ashram in Porbandar before Abhishek’s wedding to Aishwarya.


Rameshbhai Oza

Following the announcement of RIL’s anti non-veg decision, business circles are wondering if the family will also acquiesce to the spiritualist’s advice for a reunion between the brothers, something their mother is said to have enlisted the guru’s support towards. 

Art and commerce
And amidst all the hype and hoopla and astonishing prices being spoken about with Christie’s entry in to India and its high profile auction at the end of the week, I find myself thinking about the tenuous and often fraught connection between art and commerce.

In Hinduism, two powerful female Goddesses, Laxmi and Saraswati represent them and traditionally it is believed that they should not be worshipped together.

And yet more and more art and commerce seem to be yoked together as if they are two sides of the same coin.

Many of the artists whose works are being sold led lives of penury quiet despair or hopelessness.

Would money have made it easier?

Would they have been able to produce works of quality and creativity if the art mart had been as lucrative in their times?

Could they have been spared some of their pain if their lives had been more secure?

These and other thoughts occur to me as I attend splashy soirees along with the high and mighty and erudite to look at paintings.

I try not to think about the struggling artist who painted these works.

Often it’s hard.  

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