In a first of sorts,superstar Hrithik Roshan,fresh from the success of Krrish 3,shocked B-town when he sent out a statement about separating from Sussanne,his wife of 13 years. The whispers had been around for a while,but given that the couple had survived turbulence in the past,the likelihood of this storm passing seemed strong.
But rumours gained credence in early September when Sussanne appeared only for a short span of time at father-in-law,Rakesh Roshans birthday bash. What followed more solo appearances by both spouses did suggest that there was trouble in paradise. In fact,Hrithik,who was recuperating from a head injury,seemed to be dividing his time between spending time with his young sons and in-laws.
As is the custom with such high-profile break-ups,few are actually privy to the contributing factors,and predictably enough,the grapevine buzzes with all kinds of stories from saas-bahu conflict theory to romantic liasions and even terminal boredom. And in this case too,there have been several such tidbits ranging from the inane to outright bizarre.
Whatever the reason may be,one thing is for sure that if there is no rapprochement soon enough between the two,Sussanne would have changed the notion of Bollywood wives for good. Its not that star wives have not separated earlier from their husbands Reena Dutta parted ways with her husband Aamir Khan as did yesteryear actor Kalpana Karthik from evergreen Dev Anand,Rakhee from Gulzar,Amrita Singh from Saif Ali Khan but most such proceedings have been rather hushed. Understandably so,given the trauma that these couples,especially if children are involved,undergo in these circumstances but the media glare that accompanies film stars everywhere has made any quiet reflection,impossible.
Given the overwhelming curiosity,Sussanne’s statement in the media following Hirhtiks,was equally restrained and dignified requesting the media for privacy in these trying times. As of now,it would appear as though Sussanne has decided to forge her own path as a celebrity interior designer. She has been at it for a while now with her Charcoal Project and in the last couple of years,her work has garnered a lot of attention.
Reportedly,she’s being signed up fast and furiously by builders who wish to create high-end designer homes for their clients. Her decision is a marked departure from Bollywood wives of the past who were happy to exist as ciphers within their marriages,content for their names to be suffixed by the famous surnames of their husbands.
Clearly,the display of discontent among the wife brigade suggests that things are changing. Contrary to earlier times,wives are no longer afraid to disengage completely from the marital baggage,rather than merely living separately. For the longest time,star wives,especially those who werent actors,were reluctant to step out of their marriages. Their husbands’ star identity that defined them was the comfort they clung on to but Sussanne’s decision to step out of her marriage unlike her mother Zarine Khan,who continued her relationship with Sanjay Khan despite his brief romance with co-star Zeenat Aman,signals the end of an era.
It spells the end of the long-suffering star wife who for most part was perceived as a doormat,willing to put up with her spouses indifference. Of late,not only are star wives turning themselves into glamorous ladies,they are putting their time to good use too. Twinkle Khanna,Gauri Khan,both of who incidentally,are interior designers too are fast turning into entrepreneurs,no longer content with kitty parties and sparkling baubles.
Among other things they are exploring new avenues such as styling or occasionally even producing films. The trend is gaining momentum and the wallflower wife,evidently,is a thing of the past.