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Knowing Aishwarya Rai Beyond The Bachchans

I don’t remember  when  I  spoke  to Aishwarya  Rai first. But  it  was  definitely  long before  she became Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. And we’ve marveled  at  the amazing  ways  of providence, to have   put a ‘Rai’ in  her name long before the Bachchans came in to her life.Aapkikya Rai hai?

As  we all know the Big B’s  father’s name was  HarivanshRai Bachchan.

“It all  sort  of came  together, didn’t it?”  Aishwarya(never  ‘Ash’ to me as I abhor nicknames) laughed her  trademark laughter.

It sure  did. Nazar  na lag jaye. Lekin  Aishwarya has a perfect life. A loving devoted husband,  the only star-husband on Planet Bollywood who has never had even a minor distraction since marriage,   non-interfering parents-in-law and  a daughter  who is growing up  to be just like her mother.

Aaradhya  is   one of  the most  well-mannered,  courteous, intelligent and  articulate children  I’ve ever  come across.She  knows exactly how to answer  every  question and if you ask her something silly she will sigh and try not to  make  you  feel  stupid. You can see her mother’s  influence  in  every  action  and  gesture of hers. 

Abhishek  calls  Aishwarya the  best mother in the  world. I have certainly not seen a more dedicated  mother. Aaradhya  doesn’t only come  first  for Aishwarya, she  comes  first last and whatever comes in-between. Nothing and  no one,  not even her mother and husband(the two people  who matter the most to her) gets priority over  Aaradhya.

Aishwarya  once  told me, “Aaradhya and I have a soul connect. My day begins and ends with her. From the moment I wake up my entire perspective on the day is centred  on her.Her constant presence in my life is not even something I consciously think about it. It’s just there! And I wonder how I lived before she was born.Only a parent would understand how I feel.To me my world changed the day Aaradhya was born.Everything is the same around me. But she has changed the way I look at the world.The  world that I now occupy with my daughter is my reality. Everything else is a secondary.”

To see Aishwarya  so  supremely  adjusted to theBachchan  family and so  much at peace with her  roles  as  daughter, daughter-in-law,  wife and  mother  gives me great joy. I’ve seen Aishwarya when she was tortured  and  hounded by  the man she  loved. Today she  is married to man who wouldn’t dream  of hurting a fly.

How  can anyone have  such a  perfect  life?  Javed AkhtarSaab once told me how perfection  scares  humanity. “They  look at Aishwarya and say, ‘How can  anyone be  so beautiful? Chal  jhooti!”

Being Aishwarya Rai Bachchan comes with a price. There will always be those who think her  ideal life is a fake. To them I say,  damn your  cynicism!She is  beautiful and she does  have a beautiful life. If that makes some unhappy, then so be it.

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