Hrithik Roshan and Suzanne Khan split: Get your nose out of my business!

Published: December 17, 2013

Were any of us their marriage counsellor, a close friend or did we go to their house to see what was present between them as a couple? No, right! Then with what authority were we questioning their split?

Remember the last argument that you had with your husband? The one in which you were both on the way to a party and you had to hurriedly blink back your tears and wipe away the mascara streaks running down your face?

You had almost reached the venue and you had both been arguing the entire way. But what happened as you made your way into your friend’s house? Your husband put his arm around your waist, you both donned your ‘we-are-so-happy smiles’ and you made the rounds as if there was not a wrinkle in your seemingly perfect married life.

This is not simply your reaction. This is what most couples do, and would do, in the same situation.


Simply because we all think that matters like marriage, relationships, divorces and so forth are no one else’s business but our own. However, as much as we like to keep our lives as private as possible and as picture-perfect as possible, very few of us allow this basic right to those around us.

All of us have friends, relatives and people in our social circle who have a personal story that is different from what we believe is an acceptable one in the society. Someone may have an unhappy relationship, someone may be seeking a divorce from an abusive marriage, someone may be re-marrying after widowhood or someone may be in a situation that is completely unconceivable for us.

Most of the time, it does not affect us, at least not directly, but we do end up changing our attitude towards that particular person based on that one aspect of their life.

We become the self-appointed moral police.

And this is not limited to those in our immediate circle only. A few days ago when the news of Hrithik Roshan’s separation from his wife of 17 years, Suzanne Khan, became public knowledge people went berserk in their reactions, claiming that this break-up broke their hearts.

We assumed that they were happy together and hence, we declared that they should not have split up.

Are we their marriage counsellors? Are we their close friends? Did we know what was actually happening between them as a couple?

No, right?

Then, what authority do we have to question or lament their separation?

Let me take you back in time. Remember when Saif Ali Khan got married to Amrita Singh?

People could not stop talking about how he – a young, dashing 21-year-old went and married Amrita Singh – a woman 13 years his senior. How are we to know what motivated him to get married to her? Who are we to judge whether it was the right decision or the wrong one?

It was their life.

The same people lamented their break-up when it happened (of course, punctuated by the expected ‘I-told-you-so’).

And more recently, when Saif Ali Khan married Kareena Kapoor, people were up in arms again because he had ‘dared’ to marry a girl 10 years his junior this time!

My question is: how does it affect us who the poor guy marries and who he doesn’t?

At least Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan are both, public figures, accustomed to the intrusion of paparazzi and fans. But unfortunately, we do not even spare the common individuals around us from our daily dose of judgement and interference.

Why are we so inept at letting people lead their own lives and minding our own business? Especially when we expect and want the same from them?

I have always found it ironic, not to mention mirthlessly humorous when people claim to be disgusted when their acquaintances share issues from their personal life and yet, the same people are often willing to bribe domestic servants for information, hack each other’s computers and engage in endless gossip about matters that do not concern them.

After all, we are familiar with that nosy neighbour who keeps an eye on the comings and goings of everyone in the neighbourhood.

I often fail to understand why we do this?

Do we have too much time on our hands? Are we so unhappy with our own lives that we need to find and dissect the ‘wrongs’ in the lives of others? Is it simply a vicious cycle of being criticised mercilessly and hence, turning our criticism on others?

Perhaps, it is a mix of everything.

But personally, I feel that it has more to do with the vicious cycle of criticism that makes us so intolerant towards others. We do not accept people who are even remotely different from us. We condemn homosexuals, transgenders and unfortunately, even disabled people around us, simply because they happen to be different from us.

We call ourselves progressive because we have resorted to a 21st century lifestyle where girls and boys can study together and be friends. We have become adept in the use of technology and gadgets. But let’s face it – our mind-sets have hardly evolved from the conformist-thought processes which lead us to question and condemn divorce, extramarital relations, widowhood and homosexuality.

None of these may be the most preferable option or even the most praiseworthy. But unless we understand the context of the situation that forces people to make these decisions, unless we know for sure that we would not take the same actions if faced with the same circumstances, we cannot and should not intrude in other people’s personal matters.

Simply put: we should not judge.

Farah S Kamal

Farah S Kamal

An education and development consultant, who is currently leading the iEARN programs in Pakistan. Photography is her hobby and passion and she tweets @fskamal (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • grandmasti

    Why you as a pakistani poking your nose into Indias Business..Recommend

  • grandmasti

    I must tell you a little fact..saif ,amir , shahrukh r different cases..Their religion allows divorce and then remarry..But for Hrithik I m really feeling sad..people emulate bollywood stars..Hrithik and sussane were good couples..No matter How much he pleads to keep confidence in institution of marriage..It is really shocking fro many of usRecommend

  • Fahad Zia

    and we care because …. ????Recommend

  • jssidhoo

    Hrithik and Suzanne are filing for divorce.
    Even a superhero failed to live upto expectations of a woman.
    Humari aukaat kya hai…Recommend

  • Only Pulse

    Personal life of celebrities cease to exist when they become celebrities. In simple words, public figures have no personal life & they shouldn’t expect others to respect that. It is how things work throughout the world. Which car they own, which cereal they use in breakfast, which car they drive, are they left-handed or right-handed, what’s their daily routine, do they fight with their spouses, when they get speeding ticket etc etc. This list is long.Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Celebs bring their lives to public without someone forcing them to do so. They openly discuss what they eat, drink or wear, and earn from it. Some go into affairs and even get divorce just to remain in news.
    No one other than my family/friends knows what my date of birth is? why? because my earning doesn’t come from my popularity. Do you prefer a private life? My advice, change your profession. Otherwise in 21st century even private people are struggling to to keep their lives private. So with respect, boohoo on rich celebs having right to a private life is absurd. In my opinion, its called work hazard. We all have to face work hazards in our lives too.Recommend

  • Ambar N. Sajid

    Oh really..we must not judge..but Farah we are judging 24/7.In fact we love doing this and when we are judged and our relations and affairs are discussed we curse. What’s the difference???I agree that we talk about gadgets and technology. we feel no harm if boys and girls are studying together but mentally we are still living in same era of autocracy and criticism for the sake of criticism.people living happily married, they consider it as a compromise but when they get divorced they again become the worst couple..only God knows when it will end..Recommend

  • Maura
  • abhi345

    Why are pakistanis are so obsessed about bollywood?Recommend

  • Jahanzeb Khan

    By writing on such a useless issue, you countered the central idea of this piece yourself. There are many more topics that need attention. So, if the aim is writing practice, choose something better.Recommend

  • RKsharma2012

    Why are you lecturing and making money, do you yourself mind your business, it is not easy to learn to do thatRecommend

  • hatebachchans

    Wah an excellent write up after a long time, been fedup of reading the same recycled trash over and over again.AWESOME keep it up.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    To be fair I knew nothing about this and I am often on the internet or watching TV. It depends on the circles you run in, I guess.Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    You missed the whole point, the article equally talks about a common person who is not a celeb still become a target if fails to fit in theRecommend

  • Global Nomad

    Looks like you need to develop, and improve your comprehension skills. Your comment is just not relevant.Recommend

  • Global Nomad

    because by nosing into others business, we are trying an escape from our own problems.Recommend

  • sandy

    Hrithik was a fantastic in Kaho na Pyar heh – his parents got him married immediately. He was too young – he never got to taste his success or experience other relationships – this was bound to happen.Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    “At least Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan are both, public figures, accustomed to the intrusion of paparazzi and fans. But unfortunately, we do not even spare the common individuals around us from our daily dose of judgement and interference.” this is the point in here!!Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    Ahsan, it is not all about Celebrities, it gets awful when common everyday people assume the role of papparazi… devastating others live.Recommend

  • Hassan Saeed

    I think that’s a wonderful point raised considering the fact that it is becoming a strong trend among the people here. There are lots of attributes attached to it. If people are becoming less interested in their own lives and more keen to explore other’s lives, then that’s an evident sign of their lives being purely dull and directionless. I won’t speak of Hrthik or anyone, but the fact that it is a sort of trend now is alarming. Not just families, but organizational ethics and corporate culture. The formal and informal culture go side by side. But if the informal culture gets too lenient, that’s dangerous. I hope the addressed people through this blog have the brains to learn a lesson.Recommend

  • Asad

    Sounds like no one was willing to chat on fb, sms and call etc with this lady. She got bored, and then wrote piece of marvelous read… You are boring…Recommend

  • Beatrice

    Ok I am Swiss and therefore maybe not “allowed” to say anything about India and its behavior with celebs but sorry, it just goes too far. Those are actors no Gods and yes they have the right of privacy! So thanks for that article!Recommend

  • Tanzeel Ahmad

    Public figures are discussed that way in media. Don’t take it on heart. We have even watched movies on personal lives of renowned leaders including Jinnah.Recommend

  • zara

    that is funnyRecommend

  • Pappu

    who cares!!Recommend

  • Syeda Kazmi

    hahahahha chaa gye paa ji…Recommend

  • nitish

    Many indians,pakistanis or desis who r living abroad thinks that they r superior than their counterpart in native country.I should tell you,those people r garbage..they couldnt compete with their colleagues in the homeland,thats why they left the place and living abroad..I would never like to leave my motherland at any cost even if given the opportunity..Recommend

  • Farah Kamal

    Sounds like this is what you might be going through this kind of boredom right now.Recommend

  • gum-naam

    correction: wife of 13 years. they were seeing each other from four years before so that makes a total of 17 years of their interaction.Recommend

  • neha

    who gave them the right to spoil their 17 years of relationship……………………….(still a question ?????)Recommend

  • tungi

    who is hritik nd this white swan!Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Err Jaan , if this topic is so ‘personal’ to them , why are you writing about this ? Why waste precious time and money and space on this ? the world loves gossip especially if it is coming from ‘public’ personalities. Secondly , If the couple didn’t want public / fans to talk about it , then why did they go public with this information in the first place .Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Nitish dear, desis who live abroad earn foreign exchange for their mumland so you see,they are not totally useless. This is what is called ‘ frog in the well ‘ policy .Recommend

  • Just Somebody

    ..and subtract a few years where they didnt see each other eye to eye except in parties and events, didnt have any meaning in their relationship, and were husband and wife only in appearances and because they were parents to their children.Recommend

  • tungi

    the whole bollywood is made up of punjabis!the rest of india doesnt fare well in itRecommend

  • nitish

    wait a second..we r looking at people like preet bhara closely..Its about time these people should mend their way and behave in proper mannerRecommend

  • Hala Syed

    they have that right. its their relationship. they are not trying to spoil your relationship. and how do you know that divorce will “spoil” their relationship? maybe they are miserable together and will be better people apartRecommend

  • heena

    they must RE-MARRY after few monthsafter all they r made 4 each otherRecommend

  • Gp65

    The comments about Hrithik and Suzanne were not unkind.

    Actors are public figures and there is nothing inappropriate that they get written about, if Hrithik and Saif were so possessive about their private lives, they would not pose for pictures for magazines. They would not appear on shows with their partners (Hrithik has come on coffee with Karan with Suzanne) and Saif and Amrita came on SIMI Garewal show and Saif and Kareena came on Koffee with Karan show,

    People are curious about film stars and film stars themselves encourage such curiosity. Nothing wrong in reporting about private lives of film stars.

    In any case the coverage on Indian filmstars in India is no different from coverage of Hollywood stars in USA. So making this to be some type of India specific issue cuts no ice.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Strange question. They do not need anyone else’s permission to get a divorce.Recommend

  • Gp65

    I agree with many of your comments but here you are factually wrong. Saif Amrita, Amir Reena and Hrithik Suzanne are marriages between 2 partners of different religions. They are not therefore covered under Hindu marriage act or Islamic personal laws but rather Indian marriage act. Plus even the Hindu marriage act allows divorce. So it is unclear why you brought religion into the discussion.

    Breaking of a relationship is inherently sad but being honest about the relationship and getting a divorce is surely not a problem. Better that than in days of yore where actors like Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand had affairs galore but no divorce. What type of sanctity of marriage is that when you cheat on your spouse? Plus in all 3 cases, both partners seem to be conducting themselves with dignity and not bad mouthing their partners, which is good.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Amir, Salman, Saif or Shah Rukh none of them are Punjabis. Nor are John Abrham, Ranvir Singh, Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basia, Aishwarya Roy, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bacchan, Asin, Sonakshi Sinha, Imran Khan, Asin and Aalia Bhatt. Shahid Kapur, Kareena Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor have non-Punjabi moms. In fact through the ages the top heroines have come from south and Bengal e.g. Rakhee, Jaya Bhaduri, Sharmila Tagore, Kajol, Waheeda Rehman, Vyjayanti Mala, Hema Malini, Rekha, Sri Devi. West too has given its share of heroines from Nutan, Tanuja, Dimple, Madhuri

    Bollywood basically is a representation of India, it has people from different parts of the country of different faith and that has no mpact on their success.


  • Gp65

    Hrithik Roshan is a superstar in Bollywood. His wife Suzanne Khan is very much an Indian. She is the daughter of yester year hero Sanjay Khan and his Parsees wife Zareen.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Hrithik and Suzanne had dated each other for 4 years before they got married. Theirs definitely was not an arranged marriage.Recommend

  • Mariyah

    He is a public figure – a popular being. People do know him, be it through media but people have a connection with the actor. They made a great couple and always falunted it. People care about them and thus they show concern. What the hell is wrong in talking about it? :/Recommend

  • grandmasti

    You r totally wrong here..According to Hindu marriage law,divorce cannnot be decision of sole partner..In this case ,Hrithik seems to be disagree with sussane’s decision..You should agree with me atleast on one point that in muslim religion or abrahmic culture ,Its common practice of divorce and remarry which doesnt depict Indian culture..We r known for long term marriage..I m also against what saif or Amir did..They cannot be emulated as an Ideal couple..Yes SRK and gauri can be a good example to follow.divorce should be avoided at best..effect of bad culture can be seen among NRI also..They marry girls here in India ,dumped them and move a head with another one..What about future of those girls..They have to suffer a lot..A lot of NGOs r working for their right and well being..NCW is instructed to educate people about possible complication of marrying NRI..This is current development.. Hope I have made my pointRecommend

  • grandmasti

    Youi dont have to much unclear about why i brought religion into this.Hrithik being a Hindu ,Divorce was never easy for Him.It was very evident from his declaration to media.I believe ,you too will not teach your kid about polygamy ,that is what our culture is all about..In case of Hrithik sussane,Hrithik tried to follow his culture and sussane ,what she did was as per her religion..where lies the fault??Of course there were difference of opinion arising b/w them but difference of culture shouldnt be avoided..Recommend

  • tungi

    actually i was checking a list of punjabi actors,majority were from punjab and north india!the khans are from north india too!so bollywood is a representation of north india than south indiaRecommend

  • Ibtisam

    Yeah second that, between last time I checked this was a Pakistani newspaper…!Recommend

  • grandmasti

    Now ,you r making correct statement.. I think you r a Punjabi ..South India has their own film industry and they feel it is much better than bollywood…Bollywood is widely viewed in north of India,,To say that Bollywood is overwhelmed by punjabis or is ignorant statement..Recommend

  • tungi

    ya but alot of people from outside know india through bollywood!even people here have more following of bollywood!urdu/hindi are known at a much larger levelRecommend

  • tungi

    ya but alot of people from outside know india through bollywood!even people here have more following of bollywood!urdu/hindi are known at a much larger levelRecommend

  • JayMankind

    The magic goes away after a couple of years. They lasted 17 years. That’s quite a lot by any standard.Recommend

  • kunal

    so, Amartya Sen, Hargovind Khurana, Sal Khan, Amar Bose are garbage…Recommend