Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bollywood wedding of the year

Excerpts taken from the BBC-website and Wikipedia

Established superstar Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss World, will tie the knot with fellow actor and rising star Abhishek Bachchan on Friday at the latter's residence in the western Mumbai (Bombay) suburb of Juhu.

Aishwarya Rai is one of the most popular and successful Bollywood actors, with several box office hits in recent years. She was awarded the Miss World title in 1994. Aish is regarded as one of the biggest stars in South Asia and is the highest paid actress in India.

Abhishek Bachchan has also starred in several successful Bollywood films and was voted the sexiest Asian man by a British newspaper recently. Abhishek also the son of Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and popular 1970s actress Jaya. The preparations are in full swing at the Bachchan's bungalow, Pratiksha ('Wait' in Hindi), where the main function will be held.

A temporary wooden structure is being built around the house to ensure that no prying eyes or cameras ruin the private moment for the family.

In addition, up to 400 security guards will be on duty to keep strangers out, says Capt Swarn Salaria, the head of Trig Force Guard Limited.

"It is going to be a very high profile marriage, various dignitaries like very big personalities from the film as well as political world will be there, family friends will also be participating in the marriage, for which we have made all the arrangements to ensure that the flow of people coming in and going out is not disturbed," Capt Salaria told the BBC.

The Bachchans have also reportedly requested neighbours with views over their bungalow not to allow any cameras or press into their homes. Despite the secrecy, some details about the preparations are filtering out.

Aishwarya Rai's outfits, including the main wedding dress, are being designed by Indian fashion designer Neeta Lulla. The bride's jewellery has been bought especially from Calcutta and special silk saris from the northern town of Varanasi have also been ordered.

Four-page invitations, embossed with two As, the couple's initials, have been signed by them as well as the entire Bachchan family.

Invitees include close friends from the film industry, such as director Ramesh Sippy and son Rohan, director Yash Chopra and family, director Karan Johar, actors Ajay Devgan and wife Kajol, actor Sanjay Dutt and directors Goldie Behl and Apoorva Lakhia. From Aishwarya Rai's side, her parents and brother along with his wife are expected to be present.

According to a friend of the family, the Bachchans want the wedding to be low-profile because the groom's grandmother is very unwell. However, Hindu traditions are being observed and the festivities will begin on Wednesday with the sangeet (music evening) at the Bachchan residence.

Thursday will be the henna night - when henna is applied to the bride's hands. That will reportedly be held at Ms Rai's residence in Bandra, with the henna being brought in from Rajasthan.

Mrs Bachchan recently told an interviewer that she had always loved Aishwarya Rai. When asked if she though Ms Rai would make the perfect Mrs Abhishek Bachchan, she replied, "I think so".

Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai got engaged in January. The two have appeared in a number of films together, but only one, Guru, has been a box office hit.