Two weddings, and one story

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  • Published 4.03.12

Cricket lovers will remember fast bowler Subroto Guha who played for India when he and other heartthrobs like Pataudi and Jaisimha glamourised the field in the late 1960s. After playing at the national level, Subroto captained Bengal right until 1980 when he retired and passed away a few years ago in Mumbai.

Subroto left behind two sons and his wife Neelam (she runs In Touch in Mumbai, an outlet that specialises in delivering flower arrangements on special occasions to celebrities and others). His second son, Kunal Guha, has the handsome good looks of both parents. Guess what this attractive Singapore-based businessman went and did late last year? He quietly married glamourous ramp walker and model Nethra Raghuraman who has dabbled in films like Bhopal Express (by ad filmmaker Mahesh Mathai on the Bhopal gas tragedy and co-starring Kay Kay Menon).

And here’s something really romantic: last year, when actor Imran Khan wed his girlfriend Avantika Malik and took off to Thailand with close friends for an after-party, Kunal Guha (he and Avantika went to school together) and Nethra were in the group of revellers. Kunal had carried with him a ring and while the whole lot of them were partying with Imran Khan, he popped the question to a delighted Nethra in exotic Thailand.

Back home, they wanted no party. So Subroto’s son and the ramp walker who has dazzled many high society lifestyle magazine covers, had a quiet registered marriage three months ago. It was so quiet that few knew about either their thrilling engagement or their low-profile wedding. Nethra continues to model in Mumbai and once she’s off work she’s in Singapore with hubby Kunal.

There’s another iconic Bengali whose son did something similarly romantic and under the radar. When a lovely hamper with choice fruits, handmade chocolates and a special cake arrived with a note late last year, that’s when one realised that Joy Mukherjee’s son Sujoy had married Maithili Brahmin girl Supriya. “Together we’re Su-Su,” wisecracked the bridegroom to his mother, also called Neelam (like Subroto Guha’s spouse).

Joy Mukherjee has a daughter, Simran, and two boys who were called Boy and Toy for years. Sujoy has chosen to shed the Boy nickname. But at Dilip Kumar’s birthday party in December, when Salman Khan learnt that Boy had got married, he went up to him and said, “Boy, now I’ll call you Man.”

Years ago, in 1992, Joy Mukherjee’s son Boy had tried to become an actor like his dad. He’d starred in H.S. Rawail’s Mehboob Mere Mehboob opposite Mala Sinha’s daughter, Pratibha Sinha. The film and both its actors didn’t make it (Rawail’s Mere Mehboob, however, was a huge hit in the 1960s.) Sensibly, Boy turned his attention to production and has been successfully producing and financing television serials, especially for Doordarshan. When a young attractive girl called Supriya came from Jharkhand to act in TV serials, Boy happened to audition her. He made up his mind the same day: she’s terrific but she won’t act, she’ll be my wife one day.

A few years later, Sujoy (Boy) and Supriya got married quietly. Sujoy had his own reasons for not letting Joy Mukherjee go overboard with the wedding expenses. In fact, he wouldn’t allow his parents to shell out even a rupee. “You’ve done enough for me. I’m grown up and earning for myself,” was Sujoy’s stance, as he wanted a simple, Vedic marriage and had one at the Hare Rama Hare Krishna temple in Juhu.

Joy Mukherjee always wanted a dream wedding for his sons, crystal clear that he would welcome home any bride that his sons chose. He extended just that warm welcome to the newlyweds, with Sujoy relenting (after much cajoling) that his parents could give his bride whatever they had already collected and nothing more.

Joy Mukherjee has been ailing since he had a lung and multiple organ failure in 2005. But his son’s wedding has given him what his name always stands for — much joy.

Bharathi S. Pradhan is editor, The Film Street Journal