Family galaxy

Anil Kapoor, who once had a fascination for high-profile business names, should be a very satisfied man today. His sister's son, Mohit, just wed his girlfriend of many years at a lavish resort in Ras-al-Khaimah, UAE. With this branch of the Kapoors boasting a galaxy of stars at home - from Sridevi, Arjun, Sanjay and Sonam to newcomers Harshvardhan and Jahnvi - there was enough glitter from the family. Except for Jahnvi, who was shooting for her debut film Dhadak, the bridegroom, who is himself attempting to make a mark as an actor, had the full family in attendance with Punjabi gusto.

Lost in the glitter was the fact that bride Antara is the daughter of Bhavna and Dr Tushar Motiwala. Bhavna is the older sister of Tina Ambani and was once a very sought-after model. So with this wedding, AK gets related to Anil and Tina Ambani, never mind if this Ambani is currently a broke billionaire.

Two years ago, AK almost had another high-profile business name added to the family. Wife Sunita's sister, Kavita Bhambhani - who was a Miss India winner and a leading model before she got married - was happy when her daughter, Nandini, got engaged to Tariq Premji, the second son of Wipro founder Aziz Premji. With this alliance, the AKs and the Premjis would've become relatives by marriage.

The two big-name industrialists, though, occupy two ends of the style spectrum. While Anil Ambani is known for his flamboyance and high-flying lifestyle, Premji is low-key, travels economy class and flies below the social radar. Premji and his wife had a simple civil marriage for their first, Rishad, when he married his childhood sweetheart. But Nandini's engagement broke, so there are no familial ties with Premji.

Yet, it's been fun watching the Kapoor family tree grow and sprout a variety of cultures and sensibilities on its celebrity branches. When AK became an actorin 1983, he was the sole saleable celebrity in a film producer's family. Today, as the seniormost star of the family, AK no longer needs famous relatives for validation as he has slipped into Dev Anand's legendary place as an evergreen actor.

When Anil became an actor in 1983, he was the sole saleable celebrity in a producer’s family

Meanwhile, one isn't sure if all other celebrity relationships will reach the altar. There's whisper that one of the big Khans, who doesn't much care for Deepika Padukone and has never worked with her, had a man-to-man conversation with Ranveer Singh, wondering if Khilji was moving in the right direction with his choice of life partner. One can't say if Ranveer was influenced but we'll know soon if there's turbulence in his friendship with DP.

So why doesn't this Khan like DP? There's a story that when she was seeing Ranbir Kapoor and found him straying, she went to the Khan and told him that his girlfriend was double-timing him with her boyfriend. It is said that the Khan wasn't amused with this tattling and whining. The temperamental Khan felt that instead of complaining about his girlfriend, DP should have been looking at her boyfriend's jumping hormones. How much of this is garnish, one doesn't know. But it is a fact that he has avoided working with DP ever since. Even though Deepika was eventually proven right - the girlfriend did move in with Ranbir soon enough.

The Khan is fierce about his pets and his peeves. When the girlfriend split from Ranbir, she returned to him, without the special girlfriend status. The Tiger Khan is not just protective of her and works willingly with her, they also delivered one of the biggest hits of 2017 in December.

Incidentally, while there's the general feeling that Katrina is yesterday's headlines, she's the only one who has films with all three Khans. Apart from Tiger Zinda Hai, which released recently, Katrina is part of Zero, in which SRK plays a midget, and Thugs of Hindoostan with Aamir. Impressive for someone whose career is said to be in its sunset phase.

Bharathi S. Pradhan is a senior journalist and author


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