ARE IN­DI­ANS COOL WITH AN OLDER WIFE?

The 24-year age gap be­tween the French pres­i­dent-elect and his wife draws at­ten­tion to sim­i­lar re­la­tion­ships

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Etti Bali etti.bali@htlive.com

As the peo­ple of France re­joice over pres­i­den­t­elect Em­manuel Macron’s vic­tory, a lot of eyes are on Brigitte Trogneux, his wife. The at­ten­tion is nei­ther for her po­lit­i­cal views nor her style; it’s for the fact that she’s 24 years older than her hus­band. In In­dia, such a match would bring forth gasps — in a na­tion of ar­ranged mar­riage, a wife older than her hus­band is rare. But celebs in this coun­try have been chip­ping away at the mould.

Ac­tor Ab­hishek Bachchan’s wife, ac­tor Aish­warya Rai Bachchan, is two years older than him. Crick­eter Sachin Ten­dulkar mar­ried An­jali Me­hta when he was 22 and she 27. Film­maker-ac­tor Farhan Akhtar had a 15-year mar­riage with Ad­huna Bha­bani, six years his se­nior. Ac­tor Soha Ali Khan is mar­ried to ac­tor Ku­nal Kemmu, five years younger. Film­maker Shirish Kun­der is eight years younger than film­maker wife Farah Khan. Ac­tor Ar­jun Ram­pal is two years younger than his wife Mehr Jes­sia. Ac­tor Bi­pasha Basu is three years older than hus­band Karan Singh Grover.

Ev­i­dently, men do fancy older women. Mar­riage coun­selor Shivani Sadhu says, “There are many rea­sons: it could be sex­ual com­pat­i­bil­ity or the ma­tu­rity that comes with age. An older woman might also con­trib­ute more to the fam­ily in­come.”

Fam­ily mem­bers still do re­sist the idea. Dr Pulkit Sharma, clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist, re­counts a fairly re­cent case where a 33-year-old man’s fam­ily had strong reser­va­tions about his 41-year-old fi­ancée, wor­ry­ing that she wouldn’t be able to bear chil­dren. He says that even though ac­cep­tance is in­creas­ing, fric­tion might still arise, and the male ego is a ma­jor fac­tor. “It’s not taboo, yet it’s a rocky road,” he adds.

Psy­chol­o­gist Anil Sethi, him­self mar­ried to a woman two years older, has a more pos­i­tive view, say­ing, “To­day, peo­ple are very open-minded. What mat­ters is that [a cou­ple] should be happy and com­fort­able with each other.”

It could be sex­ual com­pat­i­bil­ity or the ma­tu­rity that comes with age SHIVANI SADHU, MAR­RIAGE COUN­SEL­LOR

PHO­TOS: VI­RAL BHAYANI PHOTO: PAS­CAL LE SEGRETAIN/AMFAR14/WIREIMAGE

From top: Ab­hishek and Aish­warya Rai Bachchan; Sachin and An­jali Ten­dulkar; Karan Singh Grover and Bi­pasha Basu

PHOTO: ERIC FEFERBERG/AP

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