Today is Shiney Ahuja’s birthday. Shiney who? Can’t blame you if you don’t remember. The good-looking actor, who made his debut with the critically acclaimed Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005) opposite Chitrangada Singh and then took the box-office by storm with Gangster (2006), which happened to be Kangana Ranaut’s debut film, is persona non-grata today. Why? Among the many big scandals of Bollywood in the last decade or so, Shiney Ahuja’s rape case should surely rank among the top 10. Though it has now faded from people’s memory, it did create huge hungama when it hit the headlines. A recap: one fine day, news broke that Shiney Ahuja was arrested on allegations of sexually assaulting his maid. He denied, but evidence proved otherwise. Then came the usual media circus.
Amidst it all, one figure rose to prominence – Shiney’s wife Anupam. Anupam who had thus far been hidden from the media (not many people even knew he was married!) was suddenly in the limelight, taking all the tough questions, defending her husband and standing by him like a rock. As with all cases, the Indian courts took its own sweet time and Shiney got bail after spending a considerable time in jail. Not much has been heard of him ever since and gradually he faded out of the picture.
He did attempt a comeback in Bollywood with the film Welcome Back (2015) but then he vanished again. Last we heard there were plans to do a film on his life.
After his release from jail Shiney in several interviews said that he could survive the ordeal just because of his wife Anupam and daughter Arshiya. He tried to spend as much time with the two of them and do regular things like dropping his daughter to school, to get back to normal life.
In Bollywood, there is something about wives who stand by their husbands, who are often involved in extra-marital affairs, are known for being crooked or even sleazy. Despite all the controversies and the scandals, they are the better halves, who support their worse halves. Anupam isn’t the only one. Take a look.
Sussanne is a woman of the world. Smart, intelligent and she used to belong to the Bollywood first wives club when Hrithik was the reigning God of the industry. The perfect couple in every way. That is, until the marriage was rocked by his and her stories of alleged infidelity.
Remember the Barbara Mori controversy? And later, Sussanne’s alleged affair with Arjun Rampal. The divorce was dignified though it became fodder for the media.
Yet, when a couple of years later, Hrithik got into THAT controversy with Kangana Ranaut, who came to his support? None other than Sussanne who issued a statement and gave him all the emotional backing.
Okay, Mrs B is not exactly known for her sweet demeanour. If you don’t believe us, ask the paps who she keeps chiding every now and then. Jayaji might be a social media meme for many but when it comes to being a supporting wife, she is second to none. Her megastar husband’s link-ups with the divas of the time from Rekha to Parveen Babi may have made her heart burn but she was the rock behind him when he fell on hard times. From the failure of his business to his accident on the sets of Coolie to his many political controversies, Jaya hasn’t given up.
Now, here’s a lady with pizzaz. She made her own identity as an author and certainly does not want to be known as Mrs Akshay Kumar. But there are a few notable instances when she supported her husband despite making her own stance clear. Take for instance, political preferences. Akshay is known to be a Modi supporter while Twinkle is a certified liberal. But even when he has been criticized for his choices, she has been quick to defend him even while making her own take on issues very clear.
On the woman front, Akshay has been linked with Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif in the past, but Twinkle never let that affect her marriage or home. Instead, she built her own life, her own identity and made him proud of her.
Bollywood legend has it that Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit were lovers. But when Sanjay got involved in the Bombay blasts case, one of the casualties was his relationship with Madhuri. Cut to two decades later with Maanyata Dutt helming the affairs of Sanjay, personal and professional. Not only does she run his production house and manage his finances, Maanyata is the backbone of Sanjay. She was there for him while he was in jail. Need any more proof?
The wives of yesteryears stars put up with a lot more than wives of today. Zarine Khan is a prime example. Her husband Sanjay Khan was the man about town. Popular with the ladies and hugely successful – needless to say, this brought about the link-ups and the scandals, the most notable being his relationship with Zeenat Aman. This one ended rather nastily, in a big fight where Zeenat was mercilessly attacked by Sanjay. So where does Zarine fit into it? Well, as the ‘supportive’ wife, she was party to the beating.
So to come to the moot point – Anupam Ahuja wasn’t doing anything new by fighting for her rape-accused husband. She was just being the ideal Bollywood wife!