It's not only Sonam Kapoor who has chosen to marry outside the film industry. There are many in tinsel town who do so. But why do actors seek life partners outside the entertainment industry?
Take my one-time friend Preity Zinta. We would often discuss her marriage plans. Preity would say she would never marry anyone from the film industry because it was like eating at the place where you do your morning chores, to put it politely.
Preity finally married an American who had nothing to do with the film industry and had not seen a single film of hers. Perhaps the distance from Bollywood stardom helps provide perspective to a marriage.
Add to that another rule -- never marry a fan. We all know what happened to poor Mukesh Aggarwal. Rekha's short-lived marriage with the besotted Aggarwal came to a horrific close when he ended his life by hanging himself with her dupatta.
No wonder Madhuri Dixit chose to marry an Indian doctor in the US who, too, had not seen any of her films. It's not as if Dr Sriram Nene didn't know who Madhuri Dixit was. You would have to be much more than an NRI to be ignorant of her star status in India. Maybe belonging to a different planet would do it.
Asin married away from her place of work after she was shown the marital exit-door by Akshay Kumar who introduced her to his buddy builder Vickey Oberoi. Oberoi was rich and wealthy and had nothing to do with the film industry. Asin is now happily married with a baby to look after.
Several actresses from the earlier eras also chose to marry outside the closed circuit. Waheeda Rehman had resolved she would never marry a co-star. Her long association with filmmaker-actor Guru Dutt was fodder for gossip. But she maintains to this day that she never wanted to marry anyone from within the film industry. Vyjayanthimala too married outside the entertainment industry and remains successfully wedded to this day.
Sharmila Tagore, who was one of the most sought-after screen divas in the 1960s and 70s, says there could be no hard and fast rules about love and marriage. "I was not married to someone from within the film industry. But it wasn't a conscious decision to not marry (an actor). My son and daughter are married to actors. And they are doing fine. It's all matter of personal choice," she said.
There are those who chose not to marry rather than marry a co-star. Waheeda's friend Asha Parekh, who was everyone's favourite date-mate in the 1960s, never entertained the thought of marrying one of her co-stars. "Koi sawaal hi nahin paida hota tha (the question just didn't arise). My co-stars were all my buddies. I couldn't dream of marrying any of them. They all treated me like one of them. There was no romantic suggestion at all. I never got to meet men outside the industry to be able to marry anyone," she has said.
With so many marriages among people from the film industry falling apart, one would think marrying outside would be a wise move. When both the parties are from the same workplace and they know exactly what goes on during outdoor location shooting, it leads to obvious friction.
A very prominent star-wife once confided in me that she was aware of her husband's extra-marital activities. "Does he really think I don't know what he is up to when I am not around at those long outdoors? I am okay with it. Because once he is home, he thinks of only me and the children."
Actresses prefer non-actors as husbands because they don't want to be reminded of all their (the husband's and their own) affairs. To that extent Sonam couldn't have chosen better.
I don't know if Anand Ahuja was educated in the career nuances of Sonam. Did he watch her masterpieces like Anees Bazmee's "Thank You" and Sooraj Barjatya's "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo"? Or did he fall in love with the girl rather than the glitter and glamour?
It always helps to have a healthy contact with the world outside the film industry.