SRK-Gauri. Forever In Love. Forever Love.

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SRK-Gauri. Nearly three decades. That’s how long they’ve known each other. Twenty-two years. That’s how long they’ve been married. And what a rock-solid marriage it’s been.

Bollywood’s most stable marriage, between superstar Shah Rukh Khan and his lovely wife Gauri Chibber aka Gauri Khan, has withstood the test of time, controversies, the perils of superstardom and has emerged as Bollywood’s favourite romantic story.

Legend has it that Shah Rukh Khan’s own blockbuster film of the 1990’s, ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge’, was inspired by his own love story. Parental opposition was a common theme in both his real life and reel life: Gauri’s parents were strongly against the Muslim youth who claimed to be madly in love with their daughter.

They met, as most young couples do, through common friends in the year 1984, in Delhi. Shah Rukh was instantly smitten by Gauri, who was four years his junior. They began dating secretly, with SRK reportedly playing the possessive, jealous lover to the hilt (‘Darr’, anyone?).

Soon after Gauri they had broken up for the umpteenth time, Gauri left him to come to Mumbai to stay with friends. A wounded, confused, much-in-love Shah Rukh followed her all the way to Mumbai, and thus began his quest to win her back.

Win her over he did, and the two were soon married (after they had got the permission of both sets of parents, hello ‘DDLJ’ again!)

Shah Rukh then, as the world knows, went on to become THE Shah Rukh Khan. He instantly tasted fame and stardom with his TV and films. The middle-class Delhi boy soon became the talk of the town in Big, Bad, Bombay. He became a certified movie star.

SRK and Gauri’s marriage has been through the entire gamut of difficulties and obstacles one would expect from a filmy marriage. Linkups, break-ups, failures, success- their union has seen it all. Rumours swirling fast and thick, casting aspersions on Shah Rukh Khan’s sexuality, controversies dogging his every step (especially over the last few years).

And yet, and yet… Gauri has stood like a rock by her man, never letting the outside world even cast a shadow of gloom on the love of her life.

Gauri Khan, in many ways, is SRK’s alter ego. While he is exuberant, charming, boisterous, at times hot-headed, she comes across as an ocean of calm. While he is business-savvy, she runs her home like a business: that is to say, extremely ably. When he is flying high, she grounds him. When he is down and out, she lifts him up.

The gorgeous couple have three beautiful children together: a strapping 17-year-old clone of Shah Rukh Khan in the form of Aryan Khan, a beautiful 13-year-old replica of Gauri in Suhana Khan and a new bundle of joy AbRam Khan (born via surrogacy, this year). The picture-perfect family is constantly in the limelight, but that hasn’t diminished the visible love, affection and adoration they have for one another.

In Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri, we see the age-old hope that love will survive the pressures of marriage. We see our collective fervent desires that love will not diminish over time, but will only mature with age, like good wine.

We see the pulsating, beating heart of our nation, going dhak dhak every time she looks lovingly at him, every time they make a public appearance (holding hands un-selfconsciously, like two young lovers out on a date), every time he crinkles his eyes and flashes his famous dimpled smile in her direction.

Sigh.

SRK-Gauri. Forever in love. Forever love.