(2007) Six Steps To A Shaadi
Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai surprised everyone with their sudden engagement, Sunday January 14.
The signs, though, have been visible for a while now — partly in the increasingly frenzied media speculation, partly in the increasing public appearances by the two, looking very much the content couple.
Think back to February 5 last year, when Abhishek walked in for his birthday party with Ash’s hand in his. Shortly thereafter, Jaya Bachchan was seen introducing Ash to all her friends. The cake was cut, and after feeding his parents, it was to Ash that he turned, cake in hand.
The two danced up a storm that evening, with Abhishek refusing to let Ash leave the floor.
The Bachchans were due at the music launch of Guru — and they detoured to Ash’s home, to pick her up so they could all go together.
If there were increasing signs that Ash and Abhishek were an item, it did not in itself signify marriage — after all, Abhishek had once been engaged to Karisma, and Ash had been seeing first Salman Khan, then Vivek Oberoi.
‘Wedding’ entered the media vocabulary November 28, when Aishwarya joined Abhishek and his parents on a visit to Varanasi’s famous Kashi Vishwanath and Sankat Mochan temples.
Eyewitnesses suggested that Aishwarya sat on the left side of Abhishek, as a wife would under Hindu rituals, and took part in the mangala aarti followed by the rudrabhishek puja, which is usually performed by married couples.
Aishwarya, traditionaly clad in a white salwar-kameez with printed dupatta and a pashmina shawl, looked very much a part of the Bachchan family.
Abhishek Bachchan came with his father for the premiere of Baabul, December 7; Ash arrived later with her family.
The Big B was quick to receive Ash, when she arrived; from then on, Ash and Abhishek remained together through the evening.
A hint of awkwardness materialised when former beau Salman Khan, who stars in Baabul, crossed paths with Aishwarya — the first public meeting of the two after their much-publicised split.
Reader Tanuja Bhosale bumped into the pair last month, when Ash and her mother Vrinda Rai dropped Abhishek, who was on his way to Paris, off at the airport.
Not too long before that, Abhishek was shooting for Shaad Ali’s film Jhoom Barabar Jhoom in London, and Ash decided to fly over and join him.
Before she did, she went to the Bachchan residence for a long chat with Jaya Bachchan, and among other things asked if she wanted to send something for her son, who had been away from home for a long time.
The unveiling of Dabboo’s calendar marked the second time that Amitabh, Abhishek and Ash came together in a same car. A laughing Ash was seen seated on the backseat while Amitabh was seen driving the car with Abhishek seated beside him. Throughout the evening, the couple were inseparable. Abhishek saw to it that none of the media people came close to Ash.
Afer keeping a low profile about their relationship, the couple came arm in arm for the premiere of Guru.
Toronto’s Mayor David Miller personally invited Abhishek, Ash and director Mani Ratnam for the premiere.
Ash and Abhishek were last spotted together for Guru’s premiere in New York. This was their last public appearnce before their engagement on January 14.