By Priyanka Khanna, Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) Even as every other Hollywood celebrity is busy tying the matrimonial knot and brushing up on parenting skills, their counterparts in the Indian film industry seem to be living it up and giving domestication a big miss.
It is the best time to be single, famous and rich in Bollywood and no one seems to be in a hurry to walk down the aisle. And even those who are into committed relationships for many years are happy to keep waiting for the right moment to take the vows.
This week's much-promoted release "Zindaggi Rocks" that has Sushmita Sen portraying a slice out of her own life on the big screen would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago.
Not one to be waiting for the right man before experiencing motherhood, the film is about a rock star (Kria) who brings up an adopted child all by herself.
Kria is not averse to falling in love and marriage but she simply does not need the security net that marriage is perceived to bring. Critics have described performances by Sushmita and Shiney Ahuja (Rehan) as first rate but felt let down by the script.
Filmmaker Karan Johar, a celebrity in his own right, said in a recent interview that marriage as an institution was being misused...and he doesn't need marriage.
Karan reportedly said: "I love the fact that I'm single. I've my mother. Who needs another woman in my life? Why be married when I can be happy?"
But Urmila Matondkar says she feels like the Indian version of 'Bridget Jones'.
The 30-something actress told a leading industry magazine: "I think that to a large extent, single is rocking but I am so single that I feel like an Indian version of Bridget Jones, only many pounds lighter, sans a Hugh Grant! But after a while, it can also get on your nerves as it's very uncool to be single."
For every Urmila there is a John Abraham, Salman Khan, Rani Mukerji, Tabu, Kareena Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen who don't even have marriage on their radar.
Surprisingly, the list of glamorous women staying single either by choice or by sheer unavailability of good men seems far longer than the eligible bachelors.
An explanation may reside in this remark from a leading lady: "Men in this city and country tend to get very intimidated by successful women and they certainly don't seem to be thinking right."
But it is equally possible that Bollywood actresses just want to have fun alongside making good movies. Herein also lay some similarity with Hollywood. The current reigning Hollywood women brigade includes most women in their 30s.
The likes of Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and Meg Ryan are all a tremendous force indeed.
Even in Hollywood when female stars reach the mid-30's - a pivotal career point for them - they have to do subtle artistic shifts. In entertainment 30-something is the age when one has to choose career options with care or be forgotten forever.
But in Bollywood the situation is somewhat more complicated. Not only do actresses need to tread carefully, they also need more examples like Kajol, who continues to be a box-office draw post marriage, to convince them that marriage is no longer a bane in the Hindi film industry.
Until then, it will be more fun to be single and ready to mingle.
It is hot to be a film star masquerading as a rock star, going by the series of films released as well as waiting in the wings. While Sushmita Sen seems most apt to fit the title of a pop star given the attitude she flaunts in "Zindaagi Rocks," she is not the first or the last.
Remember Priyanka Chopra who was recently seen in the role of a wannabe crooner in the recently released "Bluffmaster". Soon these make-believe rock stars will face competition from none other than John Abraham.
He is set to play a musician in Imtiaz Ali's "Rock Star", where his fans will see him as a long-haired rocker playing a guitar. He is reportedly taking lessons on how to play a guitar in order to look convincing on screen.
"I don't want to be an actor just to look good and wear trendy clothes on screen. I want to go deeper into my character. It's great fun to prepare for a role. I'm soon going to get those chords right," remarked John.
As making the protagonist a singer is the most convenient way to justify the presence of a dozen songs in a film, we may have not seen the last of films on pop stars and their trials.
Giving some tough competition to real-life crooners will be Rekha, the actress whose screen-life has outlived many of the Bollywood divas. Reports say she has sung a classic number from the film "Guide" in her forthcoming film "Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamana".
The last time she had taken the mike was in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's "Khubsoorat" two decades ago.
The film also stars Mahima Chaudhary, Kim Sharma, Vasundhara Das and Ashmit Patel. The story is about four women who belong to different age groups and different walks of life but are best friends.
"Kudiyon Ka Hai Zamana" is said to be a fun and warm film about how best friends can sometimes be the worst enemies. Yet another indication that girls just wanna have fun!