She was the reigning queen of the silver screen. He was the biggest film producer of Bollywood. Destiny made them one of the most unexpected and unconventional couples of Bollywood. Rani Mukerji and Aditya Chopra’s name began taking the rounds around late 2000s and soon their relationship was an open secret. However, since the two never publicly spoke about it, it left rumour mills working overtime. They put all speculations to rest with their surprise and secret Italian wedding on April 21, 2014. As this power couple of Bollywood completes four years of marriage, here is a look back at their romance.
It might come across that Rani and Adi Chopra struck a bond owing to the actor’s regular collaborations with the Yash Raj Films. The actor shared on Neha Dhupia’s chat show BFFs with Vogue that it was during YRF’s Mujshe Dosti Karoge (2002) which Aditya was producing when the two met professionally for the first time.
Soon, news of their growing friendship sprung from the sets of Veer-Zaara when Rani would reportedly get home cooked food for Adi. However, rumours suggested that Adi’s parents Yash Chopra and Pamela Chopra weren’t very happy with their bond because Adi was still married to his first wife, designer Payal Khanna at that time. It was only after Adi and Payal’s divorce was finalised that the filmmaker officially began dating Rani. Interestingly, it is also said that Adi took the traditional route and went to Rani’s home to seek her parents’ permission to date their daughter.
The two Bollywood biggies have always remained reclusive about their private life. In 2012, reports began doing the rounds that the two have exchanged vows when Yash Chopra’s last directorial Jab Tak Hai Jaan was in its final stages of production. In February 2013 during the unveiling of Yash Chopra’s statue on the UTV Stars Walk of Fame, Shatrughan Sinha mistakenly addressed Rani as ‘Rani Chopra’, leaving Rani red-faced and creating a lot of stir. In his exact words at the event – “Yash Chopra, Pamela Chopra, Uday Chopra, Rani… just now my wife said I missed out on Aditya Chopra. Rani Chopra ka naam liye hai toh zahir se baat hai Aditya Chopra ka naam bhi… (When I am taking Rani Chopra’s name, then it is obvious that I am taking Aditya Chopra’s name as well).” Shotgun later clarified that he stated the truth.
Also given the fact that Rani was by Adi’s side during father Yash Chopra’s death and funeral proceedings, things began getting clear and the world could see that Rani had taken over the position of the daughter-in-law of the house already.
During late 2013, Rani was caught flashing a diamond ring which many of her close friends confirmed as an engagement ring. Six months later, on the morning of April 22, 2014, YRF issued a statement confirming the most speculated wedding of Bollywood. “We are happy to announce that Mr. Aditya Chopra and Ms. Rani Mukerji got married last night on 21st April in Italy. The wedding was a very small intimate affair with very close family and friends. We wish the couple a very happy married life,” the statement read. Rani also called her wedding the continuation of a “fairytale” in another statement.
Aditya Chopra & Rani Mukerji got married last night on 21st April in Italy. We wish the couple a very happy married life.
— Yash Raj Films (@yrf) April 22, 2014
While many said their destination wedding was being planned for weeks, some called it a spur of the moment decision taken during their Italian holiday. With only 12 close friends and family members present on the occasion, Rani and Adi tied the knot in Italy’s Cortona, away from the glare of Indian media and fans. It was reported that Aditya had meticulously planned all the details of the wedding, which was conducted in traditional Bengali manner. Rani’s close friend and designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee planned their wedding trousseau.
This is when Rani’s film Mardaani was getting ready for its release. The actor finished the film’s promotional activities and soon took a sabbatical. She gave birth to daughter Adira in December 2015, and only returned to films recently with Hichki. During a chat with indianexpress.com, the actor revealed how it was Adi who actually pushed her to make a comeback. “My husband was after my life from the time my baby was three months old. He said ‘you are getting so consumed. Now you need to get back to work, to your fans, you got to do what you know best’. Adira is going to be with us forever, so you don’t have to alter your life because of that.’ That encouragement helped me because if he had not nudged me or pushed me, probably right now, I would be sitting with Adira, watching some other actress do this interview.”
Rani had later during one of her appearances on Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa revealed that she sang her song “Kabhi neem neem” from Yuva for Aditya at their wedding night.
Despite the two putting all speculation to rest with their fairytale marriage, they are rarely snapped together. Rani also shared in Neha Dhupia’s chat show how Adi hated Rani’s stardom! “It’s not as if he is paranoid about the cameras. He just doesn’t want to be photographed. He had told me after our marriage, ‘God when I fell in love with you, I didn’t stop to think that I was in love with an actress. Now, because of you, people are attaching my pictures to yours as well,'” Rani had revealed.
However, some pictures here and there do satiate the shutterbugs. Adi has only directed four films to date – Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Mohabbatein, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Befikre. While the audience hopes to see Adi and Rani teaming up for a project, the actor told us at indianexpress.com, “We’ve talked about it and we’ve come to the conclusion that the film will never get made… It’s very different for a director-actor equation. I think he’ll start laughing if I start performing infront of him or vice versa. It’s just that comfort level which you have with your family members. Because we didn’t really get together on a film set… So it’s just really strange.”
Their fans are still hopeful to see them together more often. Here’s wishing this wonder couple of Bollywood, a very happy anniversary!