Aishwarya Rai : beautiful wife, dutiful daughter-in-law ...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

Mumbai, (IANS) Though Bollywood's hottest couple Abhishek Bachchan and

Aishwarya Rai announced their engagement on Sunday, the actress had

been fulfilling the role of a dutiful daughter-in-law long before their

relationship was made public.

"For a while now, Aishwarya has been a dutiful bahu (daughter-in-

law) at their residence, so much so that Jayaji (Jaya Bachchan) has

completely warmed up to her and has been telling friends for a while

that Aishwarya will fit wonderfully into their household.

"Aishwarya has made it very clear to her parents that all marriage

details will be decided by them. The same goes for the Bachchans," a

close family friend of told IANS.

The couple chose to maintain a discreet distance from and a

deafening silence on the matter that has hogged the headlines and

mindspace since the announcement of the engagement Sunday night.

While Abhishek flew off the next morning with his mother Jaya to

Rajasthan for the shooting of Goldie Behl's "Drona", Aishwarya chose to

be with her family on Monday before heading for Karjat to shoot for

Ashutosh Gowariker's "Jodha-Akbar", thereby leaving all the subsequent

details including the wedding date to the parents.

"It's almost like an arranged marriage with love thrown in. We all

knew Abhishek and Aishwarya were getting close to one another for a

long time. But neither spoke about it. And since they're very private

people we thought it unwise to probe beyond a point.

"We just let their relationship take a natural course. We're

genuinely happy to discover that the two of them have decided to be

together," added the source.

Now both the parties, in the biggest wedding of the year, are

waiting for the parents to get together and select a date.

Said a close friend of Aishwarya: "Her dad is out of town. As soon

as he returns in a couple of days he'll be meeting up with Amitabh to

decide a date. Both the families are eager to lock in on a date for the