Much has been said (written, portrayed) about the pressure single women face, to marry.
But no inveterate spinster can claim to have as much single-minded devotion by the multitude at large, dedicated solely to the question of when she will tie the knot, as Salman Khan.
The superstar — the only Khan in the trio to not be married with kids — has been dodging the marriage question for a long time now.
He routinely delivers Rs 300 crore hits. He routinely makes comments that trigger universal outrage (except among bhai bhakts of course). He routinely makes news for a variety of reasons.
And yet, none of these things seem to make for as compelling a subject of conversation as his impending nuptials — or the lack thereof.
"10 Girlfriends of Salman Khan — Will He Ever Marry?" wonders one report. "8 Actresses Salman Could Have Married," boldly proclaims another.
There's no dearth of eligible bachelors in Bollywood that we could spend our time (just as fruitfully) matchmaking for, but whether it's his age (he's 50 now) or his bad-boy-with-the-golden-heart-misunderstood-Peter pan persona, or perhaps the fact that in public perception at least, all of his love affairs have ended tragically with the women leaving him for greener pastures (figuratively speaking) — Salman and the subject of his shaadi occupies the minds of fans and the press alike in equal measure.
Why are we discussing the obsession with Salman's marital status now?
Because a fresh round of reports has fuelled speculation around the topic once again.
Let's get you quickly up to speed in case you haven't been following all things related to Salman ki shaadi: As per this Mumbai Mirror report, the superstar said at a recent gathering at his home (where the Hollywood star Will Smith was also present), that he intends to tie the knot with his girlfriend-of-some-time Iulia Vantur on 18 November. Why that date? Because that's when his own parents — Salim and Salma Khan — got married.
Now the 18 November date isn't one that Salman has mentioned for the first time.
Because he's asked SO much about his plans to tie the knot, he's come up with an arsenal of replies: He laughs them off, claims he's yet to find a woman who will put up with him, and that while he wants kids he isn't sure if he's willing to endure their mother (yes, he's made that ungentlemanly remark, albeit in jest).
He's also repeated the line about wanting to get married on the same date as his parents (18 November) with a disclaimer — he doesn't know which year that will be in. He's also, in a display of honesty, admitted that he doesn't intend to give any honest answers to the marriage question, for now at least. On the rare occasion, he'll also give a straight answer, but one it seems no one really takes note of.
But speculation among industry watchers that the date will finally be 18 November 2016 is rife because Iulia is on a work visa, and it's reportedly due to run out sometime by the end of this year.
There have also been stories about how tabloids in Iulia's Romanian hometown refer to her as "Doamna Khan" — it seemingly means "the royal Mrs Khan" as per most Indian news reports, although Google provides a list of other options:
We still remember the near collective sigh of relief that was heard around the world when that other footloose-and-fancy-free sample of suave masculinity — George Clooney — tied the knot, with the eminently successful and gorgeous Amal Alamuddin. George, who'd long contented himself with a string of relationships with beautiful young women, none of whom it seemed, were as enticing as his pet pig Max when it came to sharing his life with on a permanent basis, was the subjected to intense scrutiny over when he would finally "mend his ways" and opt for marriage at the ripe age of 53. (He was married once before, in 1989, to Talia Balsam.)
Now that Clooney's out of the picture, and Leonardo DiCaprio seems too firmly out of our grasps to do anything about, we can focus our attentions wholeheartedly on Salman, and his wedding.
As for the star himself, expect little information, plenty of misinformation, and maybe one very secret marriage when we're least expecting it.