Age is just a number!

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]alk shows with popular hosts turn into platforms where celebrities share their secrets and make confessions from time to time. Karan Johar’s show, Koffee with Karan witnessed one such revelatory moment after Arjun Kapoor confirmed that he was not single. Bollywood’s resident gossip marketers had been insisting for a while that Kapoor had been dating Malaika Arora. What the actor had to say, therefore, was old news.

By the time Kapoor made a partial revelation, Malaika and he had been already spotted holding hands and attending events together. They have also reportedly bought an apartment in Mumbai’s Lokhandwala Complex, an indication that they might be planning to settle down soon. Kapoor is 31 and Malaika, 45. Should they get married, another woman will be older than her husband in Bollywood.

HOLLYWOOD MEETS BOLLYWOOD

Priyanka Chopra got married to American musician-actor Nick Jonas recently. Stories around the event made countless headlines in the media. Good-natured fans celebrated the union, while trolls spewed venom because Priyanka (36) is about 10 years older than Jonas. Age-shaming Priyanka began not much after the story of her relationship with Jonas surfaced. Hostility and sarcasm were used as weapons, with one person commenting that she was Jonas’s ‘stepmother’ and another saying that she was using him to get a green card. Marriage was on the cards, and that took place. Many major celebrities attended the event to bless the couple, who have proved that compatibility is important, not age difference.

ABHIASH, THE POWER COUPLE

Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan has vacated the limelight in recent years. But she was the reigning queen of the industry when she married Abhishek Bachchan in 2009. Aishwarya is just a couple of years older than Abhishek. Had social media been as densely populated as today, their marriage and age difference would have been hotly discussed and debated.

Other angles would have also come into play, Aishwarya’s former boyfriend Salman Khan and Abhishek’s ex Karisma Kapoor included. The two-year age gap would have been hyped. Some would say that the timing of their marriage was just right. Today, few remember who is older.

LOVE CONQUERS ALL

One actress who had acted in some hit films is Bipasha Basu, who was 38 when she married Karan Singh Grover, who is four years younger. There were rumours that Karan’s mother was opposed to the alliance because of the age difference. But she eventually accepted, and the two of them got married in 2016.
Five years younger than Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Khemu met his future wife on the sets of Dhoondte Reh Jaoge, a film in which they worked together. They were in a live-in relationship for a couple of years, and eventually got married in 2015.

RIGHT DIRECTION

Speaking of people who work behind the scenes, director Farah Khan became friends with editor-director Shirish Kunder, who edited Farah’s directorial venture Main Hoon Naa. Their friendship mutated into love. Farah got married to Shirish, who is eight years younger than her, in 2004.

Archana Puran Singh had had a failed marriage when she met Parmeet Sethi, who is seven years younger than her. The two have been married since 1992. If you want to know just how happy they are, try to find an opportunity to see them walk hand in hand. Aditya Pancholi, who is six years younger than Zarina Wahab, got married to her in 1986. Their marriage has had its shares of ups and downs, which has been widely reported in the media. But it has survived the test of time.

Arjin Kapoor is 31 and Malaika, 45. Should they get married, another woman will be older than her husband in B’wood…

UNHAPPY ENDINGS

Not every marital story reads like a fairy-tale though. Some that began with hopes and dreams have collapsed. Arjun Rampal and Mehr Jessia, who is two years older than him, opted for a divorce after two decades of marriage. Saif Ali Khan was 21 when he had married 33-year-old Amrita Singh in 1991. The couple parted ways in 2004. Farhan Akhtar married hairstylist Adhuna Bhabani, 6 years older to him, in 2000. They divorced last year.

History shows that most marriages in which the woman is older have been happy ones. There are success stories. There is the odd failure, marriage being the sort of relationship whose future is controlled by destiny, not age.

(Story by Biswadeep Ghosh)