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My Friend Madhu Mantena Ends Marriage

Subhash K . Jha

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I hate to say  this. But I saw it coming. Film Producer Madhu Mantena a dear friend had been in pain for a while now. A week before he told me he has something important to tell me

Then came  the announcement that he and his wife of three years Masaba Gupta , are giving  their marriage a break. The announcement came on the social media. This is where lives and relationships are made and unmade these days.Long live the sanctity of  privacy.

Prior to Madhu, it was another friend Arjun Rampal who quit his marriage by “mutual consent”. Arjun told me  he and his wife, married for  20 years, had parted “as friends”.

This, I find hard to believe.The effort to make  a ruptured amputated marriage look like  a clean split  is plainly an eyewash. Filmland marriages want to look squeaky-clean when  they break up. It’s like  a messy murder. You can’t wash away the  blood  no matter how hard you try.

Hrithik Roshan and his wife go on vacations with their children after their marriage ended.It’s just not real. If they wanted  to go on  family vacations why break the marriage? And if they did decide to mutually break the marriage why  the show of  togetherness with pictures going up on social media even before the  vacation has started?

I am pretty much sure Madhu Mantena won’t go on post-marriage vacations with  Masaba. He isn’t the  media-friendly type and will refrain from indulging in ironic acts of  simulated intimacy in a dead relationship.

I have to admit Madhu  has been singularly unlucky in love. He was in a very  comfortable relationship with actress-author Nandana Sen for nearly eight years.

Madhu,  Nandana and I had dinner together in Mumbai where they just couldn’t keep their eyes and hands off one  another. When that relationship  ended Madhu who always gets  into relationships thinking they are for keeps, was  determined  to find love again. He got into another relationship with an author which ended as suddenly as  it had become.

Masaba Gupta seemed  to be for keeps. Madhu just couldn’t get  enough of her. Smothering your partner with love could create serious space problems. It did for Madhu’s marriage. He  is now single and not quite ready to mingle. There  is a lot of pain  in the parting.

Madhu never wanted the marriage  to end. But this business of showbusiness saps you.  Only the thickskinned survive. Star-wives who have  successfully managed to forge  a life of their own away from their star-husband’s shadows  have succeeded in keeping their marriages going.  You think they don’t know about their husband’s furtive flings?

Madhu Mantena’s marriage with Masaba was  a fairytale  to begin with. It soured because they never found a middleground between his targets as  a producer and her goals as a dress designer. Now as  things stand ,  barring one,every one of  the  partners  at the production house Phantom—AnuragKashyap, Vikas Behl and now  Madhua Mantena– has a broken marriage behind him.

If I  was  the fourth partner at Phantom I’d seriously think about breaking away from business before another a graver break happened

 

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