I hate to say this. But I saw it coming. Film Producer Madhu Mantena had been in pain for a while now. A week back he told me he has something important to tell me. Now comes the announcement that he and his wife of three years Masaba Gupta, are giving their marriage a break. The announcement came on the social media. This is where lives and relationships are made and unmade these days. Long live the sanctity of privacy. Prior to Madhu, it was another friend Arjun Rampal who quit his marriage by “mutual consent”. Arjun said had parted "as friends".
This, I find hard to believe. The effort to make a ruptured amputated marriage look like a clean split is plainly an eyewash. Filmland marriages want to look squeaky-clean when they break up. It’s like a messy murder. You can’t wash away the blood no matter how hard you try.
Hrithik Roshan and his wife go on vacations with their children after their marriage ended. It’s just not real. If they wanted to go on family vacations why break the marriage? And if they did decide to mutually break the marriage, why the show of togetherness with pictures going up on social media even before the vacation has started?
I am pretty much sure Madhu Mantena won’t go on post-marriage vacations with Masaba. He isn’t the media-friendly type and will refrain from indulging in ironic acts of simulated intimacy in a dead relationship. I have to admit Madhu has been singularly unlucky in love. He was in a very comfortable relationship with actress-author Nandana Sen for nearly eight years.
Madhu, Nandana and I had dinner together in Mumbai where they just couldn’t keep their eyes and hands off one another. When that relationship ended, Madhu who always gets into relationships thinking they are for keeps, was determined to find love again. He got into another relationship with an author which ended as suddenly as it had become. Masaba Gupta seemed to be for keeps. Madhu just couldn’t get enough of her. Smothering your partner with love could create serious space problems. It did for Madhu’s marriage. He is now single and not quite ready to mingle. There is a lot of pain in the parting.
Madhu never wanted the marriage to end. But this business of show business saps you. Only the thick-skinned survive. Star-wives who have successfully managed to forge a life of their own away from their star-husband’s shadows have succeeded in keeping their marriages going. You think they don’t know about their husband’s furtive flings?
Madhu Mantena’s marriage with Masaba was a fairy tale to begin with. It soured because they never found a middle-ground between his targets as a producer and her goals as a dress designer. Now as things stand, barring one, every one of the partners at the production house Phantom-Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Behl and now Madhua Mantena - has a broken marriage behind him.