Jab Isha Ambani Met Anand Piramal: A Rich Girl-Poor Boy Romance for 2018

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Jab Isha Ambani Met Anand Piramal: A Rich Girl-Poor Boy Romance for 2018

Illustration: Arati Gujar

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nless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that this has been an especially good month in the marriage market for men named Anand. Anand Ahuja is living the #Virushka dream as his nuptials with Sonam Kapoor become the country’s most hashtagged event, apocalyptic dust storms be damned. Meanwhile industrial tycoon Ajay Piramal’s son, Anand, just announced his engagement to the country’s most eligible (read richest) bachelorette, Isha Ambani.

The Ambani-Piramal mahagathbandhan might be construed as a case of the rich getting richer, but allow me to disabuse you of that cynical notion. What we have here is no union of the elite, but merely a new update on one of the classic love story tropes in the history of romance – the poor boy and rich girl falling in love. So save all your snarky jokes about this being the first corporate merger officiated by a pandit, because I’m about to tell you all about how this marriage is 2018’s answer to Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai.

There are two vital ingredients to the poor boy-rich girl love story, and they are a poor boy and a rich girl, obviously. Some might argue that Anand Piramal is hardly a poor boy, given that he’s the heir to a family fortune that makes your per annum earnings look like his monthly gym membership (if he ever decides to workout that is). But wealth is relative, and given that Isha Ambani’s dad has a net worth roughly ten times that of Anand’s, makes the groom-to-be less of a Raja Babu and more of a Raja Hindustani when compared to his bride.

Think of the gulf that separates the two lovers. While the Ambanis own the Mumbai Indians, all the humble Piramal clan can aspire to is picking at hors d’ouevres in the company of film stars at Wankhede’s VVIP section. Poor Anand has never experienced the feeling of having a multi-car convoy and police escort drop him off for sushi at Nariman Point; he probably has to recall the flavour from his international trip to Japan.

When it came to attaining a degree in privilege, Isha attended Yale University while Anand had to go to the more modest University of Pennsylvania. And yet, despite all these barriers, their love has prevailed.

Imagine if Jack had tried to impress Rose by ballroom dancing in Titanic, instead of taking her to the raucous party with the common folk below-decks.

You’d have to have a heart made of stone if it doesn’t melt at this tale of love being blind to economic disparity. It’s a romance on par with some of our generation’s greatest love stories. It goes to the heart of all the classics. Imagine if Jack had tried to impress Rose by ballroom dancing in Titanic, instead of taking her to the raucous party with the common folk below-decks. What if Aladdin wasn’t a wisecracking street rat, but a stuffy prince of Agrabah? Would Princess Jasmine have cared for him as deeply? Would Shehzada Salim and court dancer Anarkali’s romance have attained the epic proportions it achieved, had there not been a gulf between their social standing?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Piramal or a pauper, love finds a way. And Isha and Anand are about to begin their grand l’affair Mughal-e-Azam.

So let’s not treat the news of the Piramal-Ambani engagement as an inevitability. Instead, put on Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl and sing for all the poor lads trying to make it with girls who nobody thinks they have a shot with. After all, there’ll be plenty of time to make jokes when the wedding hashtags that garishly smash their names together are coined. Will it be #Anandish or #Ambal? That can wait.

For now, let’s just sing along… Kaho Na… Pyaar Hai.

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