Ringing In History

Fardeen Khan, son of dashing Feroz Khan, has found the love of his life in the lovely heiress Natasha Madhwani, daughter of legendary star Mumtaz and businessman Mayur Madhwani. The senior Madhwanis and the Khans together with family and friends attended the engagement ceremony of the betrothed in London. Here is what they shared with Hi!

It was a very private affair, modern yet minimalist held at the Hotel Temple, London, where 80 to 100 relatives and close friends stood witness to Fardeen Khan giving Natasha Madhwani the ring designed by his cousin jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali. Natasha looked absolutely stunning in her Roberto Cavalli dress as she posed for the keepsake picture with fiancé Fardeen whose attire was designed by Shaahid Amir. They both looked happy and remarkably composed.

Sister of the groom-to-be Laila Khan Rajpal revealed, "They have known each other as kids and both families are friends. So there was not even the initial nervousness or butterflies in the tummy for the two."

Mumtaz, the bride's mother shared her feelings with Hi! on the bonding between the two families. "My relationship with the Khan family is wonderful. I know all three brothers, Sanjay, Akbar and Feroz for 40 years. But I have been especially close to Feroz, who has been a pillar in my life when I was suffering from cancer. In fact Feroz and I were just chatting about how never in our wildest dreams did we think something like this would happen."

The Killer Khan as he was once popularly known, Feroz, told Hi!, "Last year in London Fardeen told me he was in love with Natasha, I was fairly surprised, I didn't give him any advice just told him make sure you are totally in love with her."

The engagement was very much in tune with the wishes of Natasha's father, the very wealthy Sindhi businessman from London and Africa, Mr Mayur Madhwani. Mumtaz explained, "My husband didn't want Natasha to gallivant with a boy all around the world since he is highly respected. We decided to get them engaged as Mayur wanted it more official and it also looks more dignified. My husband and I are very grounded in our Indian values and I have always been very strict with my kids. I have never allowed them to even sleep over at any of their friend's houses."

Her happiness for the match is infectious and she was in confiding mode, "When Natasha was 17-18 years, I had a feeling that she was fond of Fardeen, but then Natasha got herself a boyfriend in her first year of university. She was in a very serious relationship and she wanted to marry the guy. However, it didn't work out and what's meant to be will be. As fate would have it, she is with Fardeen today, and she is very happy."

Mother of the groom, Sundari Khan, confided, "I have known Mumu through Feroz since they have been co-stars and have had a relationship with her and Mayur since then. I was always very keen on Natasha and Fardeen to get together, but you know how these kids are... my son kept telling me he wasn't ready to get married. One day he rang me up from London saying he won't tell me who it is but he was committed, and that the girl was of my choice. I was overjoyed when I heard it was my favourite baby girl."

Mumtaz will not hear a word of criticism against her future son-in-law though she does concede, "I personally think Feroz is better looking than Fardeen, but Fardeen is good- looking too." On rumours of Fardeen's roving eye she states unequivocally, "I don't know why people think Fardeen is a Casanova, I think at his age, men have so many girlfriends but he hasn't had so many girlfriends at all. In fact, I hardly ever see him go to that many parties. In our times guys used to sleep around with women left, right and centre, but Fardeen does none of this."

Both the respective mothers feel the marriage is going to be happy because the two have known each other for so long to the extent that they even know each other's faults well by now! Sundari explains, "As a couple, Fardeen and Natasha, have an amazing compatibility. They have so much in common. They can talk on any topic–politics, business, events of the world, just about anything. All his friends adore her and she has a very comfortable relationship with everyone Fardeen is close to. Fardeen loves to pick on his girl's brains and she is really smart. She too does not spare him either and loves to pick on Fardeen's brains. I think they are very well matched."

Just as Mumtaz cannot stop singing Fardeen's praises, so also does Sundari love talking about her future daughter-in-law. "My relationship with Natasha has been from the day she was born. I have known her as a baby, have seen her grow up. Nothing much has changed between us since the engagement, she still calls me aunty–she says I am like her mama. She and her sister Tanya tell me that I am their favourite aunt!"

On the couple's future plans she elucidates, “After marriage Natasha will definitely be parked in Mumbai, and continue working for her dad, so she won't be idle. We will be staying together, we have two flats, it's the same building side by side, so it's going to be like one big joint family."

Mumtaz confirms, "Natasha is going to Feroz's house, and he loves Natasha as much as his daughter Laila. Sundari is not at all a nagging mother-in-law, she is very sweet, and she and Natasha get along really well. Both of them adore each other."

Marriage is a tough territory and somehow it seems to be getting tougher as an institution to survive. What advice would these two worthy ladies–who have themselves gone through difficult marriages–have to give this young couple? Sundari says it has to be mutual trust and understanding. Mumtaz was more vocal, "My mother advised me that once a woman gets married, she gets married forever, not to get divorced later. I have lived up to that commandment, I am still very much Mrs Mayur Madhwani. So I have advised Natasha the same that henceforth she has to do what Fardeen likes and must stick by him through thick and thin. Only if it gets too bad, then it makes no sense staying together, but as far as possible she must stand by him always."

Touchingly in what should be advice to all couples about to enter the bonds of matrimony she advises, "I would like to tell them to be happy, they must look after each other in troubled times, and they should be like a backbone for each other. He should be her pillar when she needs him, and she should be his pillar when he needs her and love each other till the end of their lives."

And finally sister Laila, who wishes the couple all the happiness, offers some pithy advice to her brother, "You have a great thing going. So value that and don't let it go. Marriage is not easy, you have to work on it."

Here's wishing the couple all the best in life. Now we stand by for the nuptials which promise to be like a fairy-tale wedding.

Kerzina in Hi! Blitz, July 2005

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