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Celeb marriages: Dhoni's happy ending

Last updated on: July 6, 2010 18:15 IST

Celeb marriages: Dhoni's happy ending

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Does it make sense to marry a non-famous person when you're a celebrity? Maybe, if you go by the success of these celeb unions.

With cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni's hush-hush wedding on Sunday, July 4, another celebrity Indian bachelor has gone off the market.

While the nuptials sent the media into a tizzy, considering that the proceedings were kept well under wraps, what is more surprising is that the bride is an unknown, attractive young Kolkata girl by the name of Sakshi Singh Rawat. Despite numerous link-ups to glamorous women like Deepika Padukone and Asin, it seems our Indian skipper preferred an under-the-radar partner when it came to settling down.

Seven years her hubby's junior, Sakshi is a hotel management student and according to reports, Dhoni met her back in 2008 when she was working as a trainee at a posh Kolkata hotel; their families have known each other a long time.

While speculation and surprise about their relationship abounds, it's not the first time that an Indian celebrity has opted to marry a non-famous partner. In the following pages, we take a look at other A-listers who didn't chase after someone from the same circles -- and seem the happier for it!



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Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan

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Gauri may be known across the length and breadth of the country as the First Lady of Bollywood, but that's only by virtue of her marriage to Shah Rukh Khan.

The youngest child of a retired army man and from an orthodox Punjabi pundit family, she met SRK, a struggling actor, back in 1984. After an eight-year courtship that was as dramatic as any B-Town production, the two were married just before Shah Rukh's acting career took off.

The Badshah of Bollywood has always maintained that it is his wife of nineteen years who keeps him grounded. She may shy away from the limelight, but Gauri comes across as the ideal partner -- graceful, dignified and a dutiful parent. And it's obvious that theirs is one of the most successful marriages in the glamour world for precisely that reason.


Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
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Priyanka and Robert Vadra

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The daughter, grand-daughter and great grand-daughter of three former prime ministers of India, Priyanka Gandhi had anything but a normal childhood -- private tutors instead of school, 'Z' security wherever she went and coping with the tragic assassinations of her grandmother and father at a young age.

It's hardly surprising then, that she shunned a career in politics and opted to settle down with someone who could give her some semblance of a normal family life. Her businessman husband, Robert Vadra, was introduced to her by common friends and they've now been married thirteen years, with two children.


Photographs: Reuters
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Anjali and Sachin Tendulkar

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The Little Master and Anjali, who, incidentally, is five years his senior, were also introduced to each other by mutual friends.

Sachin was already creating cricketing history when he first met his paediatrician wife and their courtship, like team mate Dhoni's, was kept a secret. In fact, Anjali has been quoted as saying that stepping out together with her famous hubby in the early days ran the risk of their getting mobbed.

Once married, Anjali gave up her medical practice to focus on supporting Sachin and being a full-time mother to their two children. It's no wonder they've been together for 15 years now.


Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
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Avantika Malik and Imran Khan

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These young lovebirds have been together since long before Imran made it big in Bollywood -- over six years.

The actor never kept Avantika under wraps and while they're frequently photographed attending social events together, they're wisely low-key and private about their relationship.

The couple made things official with their engagement this January and while the wedding bells are expected to chime sometime in 2011, the future Mrs Khan remains reticent and quietly supportive of her beau. Seems like she's another graceful Gauri Khan in the making!


Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
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Aruna and Vishwanathan Anand

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The Indian Grandmaster and current World Chess Champion has a wife who not only manages his home but also his career.

They've been together 13 years now and in that time, Aruna has assumed the role of Vishy's business manager and secretary, as well as provided the moral support and love he needs on the personal front.

They travel to his tournaments across the world together and it seems like the perfect relationship. And it may interest you to know that theirs was the traditional, arranged Indian marriage!


Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj
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Nita and Mukesh Ambani

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She came from a simple, middle-class Mumbai family and he was a millionaire. She was a school teacher, he a globe-trotting businessman. How's that for a fairytale marriage?

Among the country's most powerful and the world's richest couples, it seems that Nita and Mukesh are a perfect match. She may have been a commoner when she married her moneybags hubby, but it seems like Nita never intended to play the part of a trophy wife. Today, she's assumed the role of philanthropist, chairperson of the prestigious Dhirubhai Ambani International School and along with Mukesh, co-owner of the Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians.


Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
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Shilpa Shetty and Raj Kundra

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To say that Bollywood bombshell Shilpa Shetty married into money would be an understatement -- her husband, London-based businessman Raj Kundra, was ranked Britain's 198th richest man back in 2004. But how many of us have heard of him prior to his association with his famous missus?

A self-made millionaire who launched his own company at the age of 21, Raj seems to prefer letting Shilpa do most of the talking when faced with the flashbulbs.


Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
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Avanti and Yash Birla

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They married young, in the face of a tragic situation. Birla scion Yash met middle class girl Avanti when in college -- she was only 16. They fell in love, but he was packed off to the US to pursue his studies. That is, until he lost his parents and sister in a plane crash.

A year later they were married and have now been together for over 15 years. From taking over the role of a business wife at a young age to managing their household and parenting their three children, Avanti's done it all and seems to complement and mirror her husband in every way, even down to his bizarre dress sense!


Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
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Dona and Sourav Ganguly

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In his typical headstrong style, the former Indian cricket skipper whisked away his childhood sweetheart to elope because their families, who were once business partners and also happened to be neighbours, were at loggerheads.

Dona, a trained Odissi dancer, was only 20 when she married Sourav, then 23. Since then, she's been a source of unending strength to her sportsman husband and they've weathered everything together, from the initial familial opposition to their union to rumours of philandering on Sourav's part. They are devoted parents to their eight-year-old daughter and have been together for over a decade.


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Madhuri Dixit and Sriram Nene

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And finally, we come to yesteryears siren Madhuri, who dropped her successful Bollywood career in a heartbeat for matrimonial bliss with her doctor hubby.

She was at the pinnacle of superstardom when she fell in love with NRI Sriram and relocated to the US after the wedding. Settling into domestic life, Madhuri has not completely let go of acting, but playing mother and wife seems to have taken priority over the silver screen.

But whenever she deigns to grace it with her presence, her doting husband ensures that he's her biggest support!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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