'Being Aishwarya Rai Bachchan comes with a price.'
'There will always be those who think her ideal life is a fake.'
'To them I say, damn your cynicism!,' says Subhash K Jha.
I don't remember when I spoke to Aishwarya Rai first. But it was long before she became Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. And we marveled at the amazing ways of providence, to have put a 'Rai' in her name long before the Bachchans came in to her life.
As we all know, the Big B's father's name was Harivansh Rai Bachchan.
"It all sort of came together, didn't it?" Aishwarya laughed her trademark laugh.
It sure did. Nazar na lag jaye. Lekin Aishwarya has a perfect life. A loving devoted husband, the only star-husband on Planet Bollywood who has never had even a minor distraction since marriage, non-interfering parents-in-law and a daughter who is growing up to be just like her mother.
Aaradhya is one of the most well-mannered, courteous, intelligent and articulate children I have ever come across. She knows exactly how to answer every question and if you ask her something silly she will sigh and try not to make you feel stupid.
You can see her mother's influence in every action and gesture of hers.
Abhishek calls Aishwarya the best mother in the world. I have certainly not seen a more dedicated mother. Aaradhya doesn't only come first for Aishwarya, she comes first last and whatever comes in-between.
Nothing and no one-- not even her mother and husband (the two people who matter the most to her) -- gets priority over Aaradhya.
Aishwarya once told me, "Aaradhya and I have a soul connect. My day begins and ends with her. From the moment I wake up my entire perspective on the day is centred on her. Her constant presence in my life is not even something I consciously think about it. It's just there! And I wonder how I lived before she was born. Only a parent would understand how I feel."
"To me my world changed the day Aaradhya was born. Everything is the same around me. But she has changed the way I look at the world. The world that I now occupy with my daughter is my reality. Everything else is secondary."
To see Aishwarya so supremely adjusted to the Bachchan family and so much at peace with her roles as daughter, daughter-in-law, wife and mother gives me great joy. I've seen Aishwarya when she was tortured and hounded by the man she loved. Today she is married to man who wouldn't dream of hurting a fly.
How can anyone have such a perfect life? Javed Akhtarsaab once told me how perfection scares humanity. "They look at Aishwarya and say, 'How can anyone be so beautiful? Chal jhooti!'"
Being Aishwarya Rai Bachchan comes with a price. There will always be those who think her ideal life is a fake. To them I say, damn your cynicism!
She is beautiful and she does have a beautiful life. If that makes some unhappy, then so be it.