Not People Like Us

Rush to the Altar

Rajeev Masand is Entertainment Editor and film critic at CNN-IBN
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Rush to the Altar • How to Break a Friendship • Starry Starry Night

Not long after they’ve returned from London after shooting for Housefull 2 comes news that director Sajid Khan and Jacqueline Fernandes are getting ready to tie the knot. The couple reportedly hooked up shortly after Khan cast the former Miss Sri Lanka in his comedy ensemble earlier this year. The actress, who was conspicuous by her absence before the release of Murder 2, was allegedly instructed by her filmmaker-boyfriend not to participate in the film’s promotions. He is believed to have told Jacqueline that he intended to present her in a much more “glamorous and respectable” avatar in Housefull 2 and that she shouldn’t embrace the sex symbol image that Murder 2 would no doubt pigeonhole her in.

However, Jacqueline did show up to attend the success party of Murder 2 last Saturday, even if she arrived so late that she missed the press conference that preceded the actual celebrations, and only posed for pictures and basked in the success of the film. Given that she has only starred in duds so far—Aladin and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai—it’s no surprise she showed up to stake her claim on her first hit.

Meanwhile, it appears that Khan keeps regular tabs on his girlfriend when she’s not with him, repeatedly calling up the actress’ staff to confirm her whereabouts. At the Murder 2 party, he reportedly made half-a-dozen calls to a mutual friend who was also at the event, to check what time Jacqueline arrived, if she was comfortable at the party, who she was mingling with, and what time she left the place.

Insiders say Khan is serious about Jacqueline and is keen to see this relationship fructify into marriage. He has been twice engaged before (to TV actresses Gauhar Khan and Rakshanda Khan), but both relationships fizzled out before they could head to the altar. Jacqueline, for her part, has claimed she was in a happy relationship with a Middle East-based millionaire while denying link-ups with everyone from Vivek Oberoi to Ritesh Deshmukh.

Common friends insist Khan and Jacqueline have terrific chemistry together, but they’re apparently concerned that the couple may be rushing into marriage. Jacqueline has already signed Raaz 3 opposite Emraan Hashmi and is likely to complete that film before heading down the aisle. It’s Sajid, well into his 40s, who is reportedly pushing for a quick nikaah!

How to Break a Friendship

Tabloids earlier this week were filled with stories of Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt getting into an ugly spat at a birthday party held for Dutt’s wife Manyata last weekend. Shortly after that, stories emerged that Salman hadn’t even been invited to the party and that he had accompanied a common friend who was headed there.

There is reason to believe that these false stories may, in fact, have been spread by Manyata herself, who isn’t exactly Salman’s biggest fan, to put it politely. Salman has shown friends text messages from Dutt inviting him to the party, and also thanking him the morning after for showing up. Salman has denied rumours that they got into a squabble, and has confirmed that it might indeed be Mrs Dutt behind these stories.

It appears that at the party, while chatting with Manyata, Salman is believed to have said that he would always remain fiercely loyal to her husband, and would be in his camp if the couple were ever to have problems. That, allegedly, was the final straw for Manyata.

Starry Starry Night

There has been incessant chatter about the closeness between this male superstar and his A-list co-actress ever since they first acted together in an action film a few years ago. And now, insiders say the couple has rekindled their affair. It’s a messy situation, given that the superstar isn’t single. The actress, meanwhile, has got out of an on-off relationship she was in for a few years, though she has never denied her fondness for the superstar.

During a public function recently, the actress is believed to have waited backstage for the superstar to finish his performance so she could leave with him. It’s also true that the superstar has made sure that she has been cast as the female lead in two new films he’s signed recently. Industrywalas haven’t missed the irony, given that the star has always preferred to ‘mix it up’ and work with different actresses at any given time.

Secure behind the carefully constructed image of a perfect family man, the actor has had fewer romantic link-ups than most of his co-stars. However, his friends justify the affair with the explanation that few men can resist the temptation when an attractive woman practically throws herself at you.