Today I touch upon the life of a celebrity wife, the wife of a well-known man.
This is the story of Alyona, a young and beautiful girl who loved life and lived life the way she wanted. She was the only daughter of her parents, parents who treated her like a princess. The parents not only loved their daughter but they loved each other as well. It was one happy family. Alyona’s childhood was all about going to school, coming back, going for hobby classes with her mother and spending evenings with both the parents. They travelled a lot and spent a lot of time together. Though her parents loved her a lot they did not believe in spoiling her. Like a normal girl of her age she had wanted, she had desired but it was clear that all desires were not meant to be fulfilled. The parents had a big social circle but Alyona was always their topmost priority, no matter what. (Her parents wanted to give her the roots to stay grounded but also gave her the wings to fly high, as high as she wanted, wherever she wanted. )
Her parents gave her all the love but also instilled the right values in her. They taught her the importance of hard work, discipline, love and loyalty in life. Material things were never given a lot of importance. It was relationships that were to be valued and cherished. And above all education was a priority. Alyona was made to understand that she always had to excel in her academics. This enabled her to grow up into a balanced, ambitious, caring and loving person. She could do what she wanted but never at the cost of others. Everything could be hers but she had to go by the ground rules set by them.
Alyona was free, Alyona was without any inhibitions and Alyona was soaring high. She was in the last year of college and had big dreams of working in the corporate world, scaling heights and making a name for herself.
But fate had something else in store for her. One evening she decided to accompany her parents to a dinner where the current Indian cricket team was also going to be present. The star attraction for her was the captain of the team, Prithvi who besides being a top batsman was also quite a looker. Like most young girls of her age, she had a crush on him and was dying to catch a glimpse of him. This dinner seemed to be a God sent. So off she went dressed in her best to meet the man of her dreams.
As she walked into the hotel where the team was to be hosted, she could sense an air of excitement. People from different walks of life could be seen, from cricket enthusiasts to politicians, to actors, to bureaucrats, the young, the old. The entire place seemed to have been bitten by the cricket bug. But her eyes were looking only for Prithvi. She could barely pay attention to what her parents were doing or saying . The wait seemed too long and tortuous.
Finally, the waiting was over. There seemed to be a kind of hush all over the room. All eyes were on the team that was trooping in but the focus was on Prithvi, the captain. Alyona, not being very tall was finding it difficult to catch a glimpse of her hero. Seeing her distress, her father assured her that he would make it possible for them to meet the team. She heaved a sigh of relief and decided to be patient about it.
Gradually the excitement started to die down a bit and people seemed to be settling down. That is when her father decided to walk up and get introduced, believe it or not to … Prithvi and of course with the star-struck Alyona in tow. Prithvi was extremely courteous and cordial with them and spent about five minutes talking to the family. Alyona was too tongue-tied and just kept staring at him. He asked her a few questions to which she could just stammer a reply. Anyways for her, the fact that she had met him was more than enough and she was over the moon.
Once back home and the next morning she was in a world of her own, in a dream-like a state. Her parents were quite amused but just let her be. Unknown to her, Prithvi had also been quite taken in by her and she got to know this when she got flowers from him the very next day. It was quite embarrassing for her as the flowers were received by her father. The flowers were followed by a call and before she knew it, she had agreed to meet him. All this happened within a span of a week and she couldn’t quite believe it.
After meeting Prithvi and seeing his lifestyle and following, Alyona was completely bowled over. It seemed as though he inhabited a different planet altogether, totally removed from her reality. And the fact that he wanted her with him was impossible to believe. But it happened to be a fact!! They started meeting on a regular basis, sometimes for coffee, sometimes for a meal and sometimes Prithvi would just come home and spend time with her parents. With time she also got to meet his family which consisted of his parents and an elder sister. They all seemed to like her and she loved being where ever Prithvi was. Before long, she realized that she had fallen for him hook, line, and sinker !! And her joy knew no bounds when she got to know that he too felt the same about her and actually wanted to marry her. He proposed to her, then when she accepted the proposal, he formally asked her father for her hand. This was like a fairy tale coming true for Alyona. Prithvi made her feel like a queen, showering her with gifts, flowers, chocolates, the works. She had no time to think or absorb any of it. She was floating in his arms and could not think of anything else.
Though Alyona ’s parents were quite impressed by Prithvi and his love for their daughter, her mother was not completely convinced about it. No matter how hard she tried she could not shake off a feeling of foreboding. But since she had nothing concrete to base her suspicions on, she just kept quiet and hoped that everything would be fine.
Before long the two lovebirds tied the knot. Her wedding day was the happiest day of Alyona’s life. The fact that she was getting married to the man of her dreams coupled with the razzmatazz of the wedding seemed to take her breath away. All her friends and relatives could not believe her luck. She was getting married to this handsome, famous man, she was dressed in the best possible clothes and jewellery and was on the threshold of leading a life of luxury and comfort.
The media, the flashbulbs all seemed to be following her… She was the centre of attraction, the star, someone who had managed to get Prithvi… And in the midst of all this what was hugely comforting was the fact that her man was by her side. He guided her all along, teaching her how to handle the media, the people.
Wedding over, the two set off on their honeymoon. They spent two weeks of sheer bliss. While on her way back Alyona was dreaming about how it would be to lead the life of her famous man. It was going to an unknown territory. She was excited though a little fearful as well. She knew that her new life would be nothing like what her life had been till then. But she was ready to take it on with Prithvi by her side.
However, nothing had prepared her for her life going completely topsy-turvy. The first major change was that it seemed that she was to constantly live in the glare of publicity. Wherever she went cameras seemed to follow her and if she was with her husband then, of course, there was no way that she could avoid them. Initially, it made her feel very good and important but gradually it began to get to her.
The one change that she was not prepared for and which shocked her completely was the real world of Mr Prithvi Chopra. The man who had made her feel like a queen when he was wooing her was actually someone who not only wanted constant time and attention from her but wanted her to be at his beck and call. She was supposed to be around him and take care of him. She had to put up with his moods ( and he was quite, quite temperamental!!), take care of his food, clothes, his socializing …. actually she was to be his glorified secretary. And she had to do this with a big smile on her face. At parties, she had to look good, meet people, talk well and be one step behind him. She had to agree with everything that he said and could not have any opinion of her own. He was interested in everything she did, right from who she met to what she ate to where she shopped …. to just about everything. And he would not ever mince his words to express his displeasure if she ever did something that he didn’t like. His ego was huge and all he ever wanted was people bowing to it. And there was no dearth of such people in his life from his friends, family to his fans. And not to mention the girls…My God, they seemed to be all over him. It made her blood boil but she couldn’t say a word. She had to put up with the nonsense because he wanted it, he enjoyed it, in fact, loved it. She had to smilingly ignore it.
Coming from a background where her parents doted on her and made her wish their command this was like more than a bolt from the blue. Yes, she had the money, she had the material things, she had the glamour, fantastic holidays but her life was not her own any longer. She was Mrs Prithvi Chopra, a celebrity wife. All the lunches, dinners that they used to go for earlier were now a thing of the past. They were never alone and by the time Prithvi came to bed, most of the times he was far too exhausted to have anything to do for. This was not what Alyona had wanted or imagined her life to be. The man of her dreams was becoming a nightmare and she didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want to disappoint her parents so didn’t want to share anything with them.
But then what happened one day really shook her. They were at a party when Prithvi got drunk and started misbehaving. He started flirting with the girls around and after a while started passing lewd remarks. When Alyona tried to stop him he shouted at her and pushed her aside. Though maybe unintentionally he pushed her so hard that she fell down and got a cut on her forehead. This incident created a furore and the press went crazy. Prithvi‘s manager managed to quickly take her home but the damage had been done. The morning newspapers were full of this incident and journalists wouldn’t stop calling. What was worse was that Prithvi could not be located. Ultimately it was discovered that he had gone away to spend the night with one of his girls. This was the final humiliation for Alyona. By then her parents had also come to her house after reading about the incident in the papers. She decided to pack her bags and go with them. It killed her to do that but she couldn’t just take the insult and the humiliation.
Alyona and her parents spent the rest of the day in a state of shock and disbelief. Her parents couldn’t understand how they had let this happen to her especially her mother who was now convinced that she should have paid heed to her sense of foreboding and not allowed this to happen. But they had underestimated Prithvi. He was not likely to let go of her so easily. He was in their house in the evening all set to woo her back. He was apologetic, he was remorseful and wanted them to forgive him at all cost. Seeing him regret his actions and looking so repentant, Alyona and her parents decided to forgive him and so she went back to her marital home. There was a bit of awkwardness between them but before long it all vanished and they were back to being their normal selves.
But if Alyona had expected this to be an isolated incident, a mistake on Prithvi’s part, she was in for a shock. He wasn’t going to change one bit no matter what. He was going to continue with his drinking, his women, his whims, his moods and she had no choice but to put up with all of it. There was nothing she could do to change him because he did not see anything wrong with what he was doing. And no matter who she turned to for help on his side of the family, no one could / would help. Basically, they were dependent on Prithvi for various reasons and did not want to do anything to disturb that. She tried talking to him but he could never see or understand her perspective. In fact, he couldn’t understand what the big deal was if he behaved the way he did. She had the money, she had all the trappings of a good life, so what was she complaining about. He would in fact never miss an opportunity to tell her how much people envied her because she was married to him. As for his flirting ways or one night stands were concerned, it was something he had to do because of who he was. He had to keep everyone happy including the women. But at the same time, he would profess his undying love for her and how she needed to understand him and his ways.
Alyona could not see the logic in any of this but she could never answer him back because he would always manage to sweet-talk her into believing him and she would end up wondering why she even questioned him. And if ever they got into an argument, there was no way she could win it because he would end up out shouting her, outwitting her. For a while, things were fine between them because she was ready to toe the line. But the day he decided to go out of the station with one of his other women, something snapped inside her and she packed up her things and left him for good.
Not one to accept defeat, Prithvi was back at her door the moment he got back. But this time he realized that he had pushed her too far and she was not likely to relent. He tried talking to her parents but there was no support from that side as they were already fed up with him and his ways. Not having been able to work things out peacefully, he decided to show his ugly side. He, to begin with, approached his friends and family and maligned her and her over interfering parents. They, in any case, we’re not going to question him. Meanwhile, word got out about their strained relations and the press also got wind of it. It became impossible for Alyona to even step out of the house because every time she tried, the press was waiting to hear her side of the story.
Meanwhile, Alyona and her parents decided to file for a divorce. This step enraged Prithvi no end and he called her up and abused her and her family. He even threatened her and told her that she would have to pay a heavy price for this. The divorce proceedings were of course very messy and in spite of his financial position, he was unwilling to give her anything. It dragged on for four years and each court date was a huge disappointment for her. Most of the times either the judge were on leave or Prithvi’s lawyer would come up with some lame excuse to make up for his absence. But each time it was made clear to her that since she had dared to challenge him she was not going to get anything out of him. If she wanted anything she had to go back to him and that too she had to beg for his forgiveness. The press, in any case, was having a field day, publishing what it wanted and largely Prithvi‘s side of the story. Alyona was painted as a publicity-hungry, gold digger. No one cared about her feelings or her side of the story. It was as though when celebrities fall in love, it is their feelings, their emotions that are important and the other person’s feelings are worth nothing.
This drama was also taking a toll on her parents especially her mother who seemed to have gone into a shell. She constantly blamed herself for not having stopped her daughter from getting into this marriage. Added to this was the constant, humiliating press coverage. They couldn’t meet people because everyone wanted to talk only about this. And because of Prithvi‘s celebrity status, no one wanted to believe that he could be at fault. Ultimately all this got too much to bear, the lawyer could not promise them anything and in fact, one fine day suggested that they should go in for an out of court settlement. This was the last straw. The family couldn’t take this any longer. The stress, the insults, the financial pressure, the emotional pain was just too much for them to bear. The trauma of having been a celebrity wife was getting to Alyona.
Seeing no solution to their problems and valuing their peace of mind above everything else, the family decided to agree to an out of court settlement. Having done that they decided to also leave the city. They moved to a small town where by and large people did not know them.
Today Alyona and her parents live in that small city and she is a teacher in a local school. The money is less, the house is small. She doesn’t have too many clothes but there is peace, there is love in her life. She doesn’t miss being a celebrity wife but does wonder if should have taken her time to say yes to the celebrity.
What do you say??