Bollywood Screen Couple Weds for Real in Mumbai
Bachchan and Rai
After three days of pre-wedding celebrations, India's popular screen couple Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai were married in Mumbai on Friday. In the traditional Hindu ceremony, the groom rode a white horse before the pair took their vows around a sacred fire.
Rai, 33, who has been called the most beautiful woman in the world, was the 1994 Miss World, while Bachchan, 31, is a member of Indian movie royalty – his father, Amitabh Bachchan, is the country's best-known actor. Bride and groom have about 40 movies each to their credit and have been dubbed "Abhiash," the Indian media's version of "Brangelina."
Though the Bachchans had tried to keep the event low-key because the groom's grandmother is ill, hundreds of fans gathered around Bachchan's house Friday, Reuters reports. Wearing a "bandhgala" (a silver-colored turban and a veil of flowers), Bachchan sat atop a white horse and waved back to the crowd.
The wedding party then moved to another Bachchan residence nearby, where priests solemnized the marriage by chanting hymns from ancient Indian scriptures amid the blowing of conch shells and ululation, sources involved with the wedding told Reuters.
All in all, it was a heyday for fans, who filled the roads leading to the wedding site – and some of whom even slept on the sidewalk outside the Bachchan house. "I don't have an invitation, but I have come to bless the couple," said Keshav Srivastav, whose strong resemblance to the elder Bachchan drew cheers from the amused crowd.
But not every fan was happy. One woman, described as a struggling fashion model and claiming to be Bachchan's lover, slashed her wrist in front of his home, telling reporters she wanted to kill herself because Bachchan had reneged on his promise of marriage after having "physical relations" with her.
Saying her claim smacked of a publicity stunt, police arrested her for attempting suicide, a punishable offense.