Formerly, Indian film actesses retired after marriage, but that has changed nowadays. Ten years ago, the Indian actor Kajol, then the reigning queen of Bollywood, at the age of twenty four, married a fellow actor Ajay Devgan. When asked, she was silent on whether she was planning to retire from films or not. Everyone (well, everyone who is interested in the film world!) was shocked at her decision to marry when her career was at it’s peak. Bollywood actresses, until then, generally married only when their career was past it’s peak as marriage meant sudden death for their careers. Married heroines just didn’t sell seats in the picture halls.
I remember a debate going on in the newspapers: “Should Kajol give up films now she’s getting married?” This all seemed very strange to me, coming from the west, when Hollywood movie stars like Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman were starring in major films and were not only married, but mothers as well. I was just amazed at some of the answers to the question of whether Kajol should give up the movies. Some of the people answering the question, who were in fact young girls studying in college, gave answers like ‘Kajol’s film set is now her marital home; her husband and in-laws are the audience she’ll have to please, therefore she should give up her career!’ I might as well tell you that I was absolutely gutted when I read that answer! I couldn’t believe that educated girls were speaking like this.
Actually the debate was very well settled by Kajol’s husband, a very articulate and intelligent man, who answered ‘Kajol is an independent person and can do whatever she likes!’ Great answer! My faith in human nature was restored. Since marriage, Kajol has not only become a mother, but has turned out some excellent film performances as well! Bravo Kajol! And now, with another Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai successfully juxtaposing movies and marriage, the scene has certainly changed for the better.