A World-class three-ringed circus would have been a bit of a dud, when compared to the Liz Hurley Wedding Saga. First, she got her lot linked with ‘well-known’ Indian businessman Arun Nayar. Well-known to who? Other than Liz and his parents, I don’t think many people had even heard of this chap. Then she decided to throw the granddaddy of all wedding do’s – not just once, but twice, in two different continents.
But first things first. Who the hell is Elizabeth Hurley? I’ve no idea what Liz Hurley’s life was like before she showed up on Hugh Grant’s arm at the Oscars in a dress held together by safety pins, but since then its pretty much been a soap opera.
There was a modeling career, an infamous case of infidelity, a break-up, a love child fathered by a millionaire named Bing who insisted on a paternity test, and an Anglo-Indian wedding that went on forever. Whew! Now, the Hurley Show is headed in yet another direction – jail.
It seems one Vishnu Khandelwal of Jodhpur woke up a full month after the Hurley-Nayar wedding and found his religious sentiments sniffling by his bedside. It probably took him that long to hunt down the official pictures from Hello! magazine that he plans to use in his lawsuit against them.
So what’s his beef? For starters, he objects to their sitting on a sofa during the ceremonies. He also feels that they should have been barefoot through the ceremony, which ought to have gone on for a full seven rounds instead of the truncated four that the couple decided on. His sentiments were further exacerbated by the information that Hurley and Nayar broke out the booze at their wedding and (gasp!) kissed each other!
In public! In front of everybody! Throw that hussy in jail, I say! She kissed her husband!
Excuse me while I mop my heated brow. I hate it when married couples show their affection for each other, don’t you? So un-Indian. Anyway, let’s get back to this scarlet woman and her vermilion husband.
To recap, she not only made out with her hubby but she also dared to go through a Hindu ceremony without converting to Hinduism. I was under the impression that conversion is all but impossible in the Hindu religion but Khandelwal obviously feels that at least an attempt should have been made.
“As Liz Hurley is neither a Hindu, nor has she accepted Hinduism, she has hurt the religious sentiments of the community by marrying in Hindu style.”
Well, there you go! It’s an insult dressed up to look like she was honoring the traditions of her husband’s country. He also thinks that this whole wedding thing was commercially exploitative – that Liz and Nayar only went through it because it’d bring them mucho publicity and attendant moolah. This makes Khandelwal just about the very last person on the planet to recognize the finer points of celebritydom in the 21st century – but perhaps celebrity culture is rather limited in Jodhpur?
However, Vishnu Khandelwal isn’t the big story. He’s merely the sideshow with the possible power to send them to jail for three years under some law I never heard of. The main headline is that Hurley’s pop-in-law hates her guts.
Alleging everything from racism to assault, Vinod Nayar has disowned his son (or maybe sons, if you go by some reports) as publicly as he could. He says his son asked him not to join all the other drunks on the dance floor at the mehndi ceremony and Liz refused to wear some trinket he benignly bestowed upon her, choosing instead to wear a necklace that belonged to his ex-wife, Arun’s mother. Them’s fighting words, lady.
Added to that, Step-MIL tried to use this star-studded event as a sort of a Tupperware for jewels party to sell some jewellery, for which she’s the ‘brand ambassador’. The Hurley, of course, did not take to this kindly and told the MIL where to get off.
To cap it all, Pop Nayar wasn’t allowed to take pictures at the wedding because it would interfere with the Hello! deal and was finally kicked out along with Number Two Wife, Joanne, by Number One Son, Arun, for reasons unspecified. (Or maybe they were specified. I wasn’t paying all that much attention.) Miffed, Nayar Sr canceled the 30, 000-pound shindig he and Joanne were planning to throw for the newlyweds in Mumbai and declared himself childless from here on.
This could be bad news for Arun in more ways than one but in the immediate context, when Daddy Dearest heard about Khandelwal and his planned action, he immediately offered his services. Khandelwal’s lawyer says Nayar Sr. has said he’d testify against his former son and even more former daughter-in-law because his sentiments were hurt too.
The way I see it, Hurley ought to go to jail alright. Not for hurting my religious sentiments as a Hindu but for foisting the likes of Nayar Sr. and Khandelwal on to us. Remember how the Native Americans gave the English food and got smallpox in return? Well, now Indians (and by Indians I mean the hysterical hyenas who masquerade as the press) gave an Englishwoman way more attention than she deserved and she gave us attention whores in return.
Serves all of us right.
[Co-authored by DesiGirl. Originally published at Desicritics.org]