Break-ups are always bitter. But if its in Bollywood, expect lots of fire-works post the breakup because usually, there’s no such thing as an amicable parting of ways in Bollywood.
Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow may have called her breakup as “conscious uncoupling”, but our Bollywood stars are not yet ready to display that kind of maturity, and in the process, some of their closer friends also get caught in the cross-fire.
On more than one occasion, I’ve been in the perilous position of being close to a movie star while he or she was splitting from a long-time lover — and it’s never a pretty sight. Washing dirty linen in public, forcing friends to take sides, painting oneself as the victim — it’s all part of the standard routine. And being a supportive friend to a film star who’s just ended a relationship usually involves putting up with frantic phone calls at 3am, fits of rage, even the occasional nervous breakdown.
An actress I know well broke up with her sportsman boyfriend when she found out he was cheating on her every time she was away shooting or he was at a tennis match abroad. They’d been going out for four years, bought an apartment overlooking the sea on Bandra’s Carter Road together, even picked out wedding rings. The first thing she did after the break-up was to melt his silverware. It was a spontaneous act of revenge. She reduced every medal, every trophy he’d ever won at international tournaments to a mass of molten metal. Next, she called up their mutual friends to tell them what a lying cheat he was and proceeded to relate all the mean things he’d said about them, all the bitchy jokes. As a final blow, she told their friends she suspected he was more interested in boys than girls. Ouch.
She was hurting. She’d invested a lot, dropping everything and rushing off to the far ends of the earth when he’d suddenly taken ill. She’d nursed him to health, even as harried producers cursed her for her unprofessionalism back home. She’d battled her family when they said she was putting her career at risk. And then she discovered that his hotel laundry bill contained women’s lingerie. It was a lousy thing to happen. A night before he was set to play a major tournament, she tried convincing me to send him a text message saying that I hoped he would lose.
Everyone does bad things when they’re hurting, but movie stars give it a new dramatic edge.
Take the case of the “khiladi” superstar- and-actress couple who split after six years. When they broke up, the actress stopped at nothing. I remember her talking at length about how insecure he was, how she’d helped him develop a sense of style. Her spite made her do terrible things. She’d plant bitchy snippets in the tabloids about his modest beginnings – he started out working as a cook in Thailand – and when asked if he was a good lover, she waved her little finger and cut him down to size.
The boys aren’t much better.
When a young, upcoming actor was dumped by his more high-profile — a top Bollywood star and former international beauty queen — he knew where to strike. Painting her out to be a phoney, he insisted her compassionate image was a cultivated one, and claimed that she was, in fact, a heartless shrew. Although they’d already called it off, he said he’d requested his ex to make a call to his ailing grandma — who thought the world of her — and offer a few words of comfort. She never called.
When another marriage went bust — between an actor on the rise and his older wife, an actress past her prime — it was showtime for everyone. She bitched about how she’d supported him through his struggling years, when he couldn’t afford to pay the rent; in return, he accused her of being a harridan who never once in their 10-years-plus marriage let him forget who was paying the bills. Just days after he moved out of his wife’s home, he was seen chasing anything in a skirt. When he was asked why he was behaving like a teenager, he said he was in a passionless marriage so long, he needed his mojo back.
Relationships are a great leveller. When star couples come apart, it’s one of the first times we see them as regular people. So it’s no wonder their spats make tabloid headlines. There’s still endless speculation over what caused the Abhishek-Karisma split.
It’s true what they say about Bollywood stars. It’s showtime, even after the director yells cut.
Nothing beats a Bollywood break-up
An actress I know well broke up with her sportsman boyfriend when she found out he was cheating on her every time she was away shooting or he was at a tennis match abroad. They'd been going out for four years, bought an apartment overlooking the sea …