Certain songs trigger lyrics from my lips, as if they were sitting there all along waiting for the right moment. Perhaps they needed inspiration, or the right catalyst, to emerge from their cocoon. (Tangent: Did you know butterflies drink blood?) But it’s not accurate to describe it as lyrics, for it’s not to any particular song; rather, it’s to the backdrop of my life. These thoughts are constantly forming and, as clouds do, they precipitate when enough has accumulated and the environment is just right. The songs, in a sense, create the perfect storm; two fronts, unable to pass without friction, precipitating a solution.
Recently, Hrithik Roshan and his wife of 17 years, Sussanne Roshan, separated. They announced this on a public platform, confronting their reality head-on. I respect this. Growing and maturing in the world of media, in whatever capacity, has to be a struggle. The limelight is always there at the wrong times, and privacy is a dream many cling onto with the same fervor that I cling onto my freedoms of speech. It’s an ode to the old-fashioned sentiments we grew into, a time when such things were encouraged. Even as they fade and slip away from our grips, we hold tightly as to prolong the inevitable–or perhaps, to fight the entropy. Certain things, I tell myself, should not change.
Back to Mr. and former Mrs. Roshan, I read a comment regarding their decision to separate that I couldn’t just let go. I found myself holding tightly onto the thought, allowing other thoughts to form condensation around it: “Personally, I always thought he could do better.”
“That’s quite a statement”, I pondered. I, too, once had this thought. It was based on purely societal values imposed on viewers far before I walked onto the scene, but I was no stranger to the conclusion. He was not only a burgeoning super star in the Bollywood Industry, one of the largest media organizations on the planet, but he also seemed to have a great story behind him. Although he worked very hard to achieve the body image he has today, he has also embraced the imperfections that he was born with in an industry that does everything but embrace imperfections. A respectable role model.
I remember watching an interview with him and his wife about, what feels like, a decade ago. She presented herself as a well-mannered, beautiful Indian lady that was dedicated to supporting her husband. Standing next to Hrithik, she represented both the supportive female role behind her husband’s success and the shadow that was attached to him. It was an odd juxtaposition, a reminder of how powerful she could be but also how significant her husband’s role was in her life. She mentioned during the interview that she thought her husband was so attractive and well-rounded that he could get any female. He blushed heavily and laughed it off, but it was clear he was surprised by her response. His wife, a clear supporter of his ambitions and proponent for his success, was now suggesting that he could do better than her.
To acquire perspective, I empathize with her and imagine how she must feel. But instead of letting go of that statement and understanding the motivation behind such a statement, I felt myself holding onto it with the same propensity I hold onto my ability to write, to express myself. This statement was not one that I could let slide under the radar; it was a combination of words that moved me and left an imprint in my mind.
“How is it,” I ask myself, “that she could have so much to do with the person he has become, yet think that he deserves someone else?”
There is much more to marriage than a comparison of where two people are in life. The factors we judge others by, merely surface deep observations, prevent us from having the insight we need for our own lives.
Marriage was once considered an old-fashioned approach to life, an event during which two souls would merge their existence for the betterment of each other. To me, Hrithik and Sussanne Roshan’s marriage was exemplary of this union, even if they didn’t know it.
I don’t deny the societal pressures placed on each of us. My aesthetics and socioeconomic status determine my potential impact, and I’m okay with this realization. But I’d be wrong to accept this as the influence for the major decisions in my life. The metrics by which I evaluate a life-partner will be my own, for aesthetics and socioeconomic status, and whatever other measures one uses, are simply temporary descriptors. The soul of the person I am trying to merge my own with, and its capacity to love and be loved, is the true core of what I’m chasing after.
How silly would I be to settle surface deep when my destination isn’t even a tangible one?
Maybe the commenter was right. Maybe Hrithik Roshan does deserve someone better than his ex-wife. But the way I see it, she supported him for 17 years of his life and helped him become the man he is today. Without her, he would not be the same person today, nor would he be the same person I refer to as a respectable role model. For me, their souls have already touched each other in a way that is levels above what a public eye can see. They certainly deserved each other (until now, for reasons only they know).
I wish them both the best, and I hope that their decision to head in different directions is one with which they are both happy.