Star-crossed lovers from Hollywood to Bollywood it’s one big saga

Posted on July 13, 2011

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Every single woman’s worst nightmare is to be pressurised to go out with someone she doesn’t know in order to save face. Now imagine if that was done live on air and to top it all off you’re a high-profile celebrity so there’s literally nowhere to hide.

That’s exactly what’s happened to Mila Kunis. The 27-year-old Hollywood actress, (of Black Swan and the Book of Eli)  was put on the spot during an interview while promoting her new film.

Mila Kunis has accepted the invitation

To her surprise she was told that a marine sergeant stationed in Musa Qala in Afghanistan, Scott Moore, had posted a video on You-Tube asking her to be his date to a military ball in November.

“Aaah how sweet,” I hear the romantics bleating. Not at all. Anyone who has been unwillingly set up on a blind date will know exactly how this woman feels. The difference is her experience will be so much more public than anyone else could imagine.

Serg Moore’s video has since gone viral and more than two million people have viewed it. Hence the interest from the probing presenter. To make matters worse her co-star Justin Timberlake also decided to add his two-pence worth while the camera was rolling – now that’s support!

So what’s a girl to do – accept and win a PR coup or decline and face the backlash?

Maybe it was sheer panic but she’s agreed. Whether she actually turns up is another matter.  The video (see below) if I’m honest Serg Moore, is neither charismatic nor involves much imagination. Come on mate, you’re asking your dream girl on a date, try to make an effort!

Not since Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has there been such a pair of star-crossed lovers. Well that was until I saw this next story.

This pair weren’t even asked if they wanted to be bound in holy matrimony…..their family decided for them.

Indian weddings are lavish affairs and like most big days they’re usually full of high drama. But one “couple” created such a stir the local authorities in India  stepped in.

The wedding plans for Raju (the groom) and Chinki (the bride) were laid in the village of Talwas deep in the forests of Rajasthan. Raju, well-known in his village, has always been a crowd-puller. His blushing bride is from a nearby village.

But no love story is complete without a glitch or two. Their wedding invitations were posted, a traditional Hindu ceremony planned, even the pundit was booked. Raju was meant to arrive on a horse in true Bollywood-style and a huge pre-wedding feast was going to be laid on.

As news of the marriage spread, the state forest department officials stepped in to take action. You see Raju and Chinki are monkeys (Hanuman langurs).

Rajesh, a 38-year-old auto rickshaw driver, shares a cigarette with his monkey Raju at Banetha village, in the north-western state of Rajasthan.

Monkeys are protected in India as government property, no one can pet them, train them and marrying them is definitely off-limits – even to a fellow monkey. Anyone found doing this can be arrested.

On the day of the wedding 200 guards entered Talwas, where they confronted hundreds of people from nearby villages. The turnout reflected just what a rare spectacle this was going to be. But as the couple and their families got wind of what might happen, they absconded and the monkeys were wedded in secret.

Monkeys have a significant role in Hindu mythology where they are worshipped as avatars of Hanuman (the monkey God who helped Rama in his fight against evil). Some locals have been known to refer to them symbolically as ‘Gods’.

Raju’s ‘father’ is Ramesh Saini, a married 38-year-old who is childless. The auto rickshaw driver nursed Raju back to health after finding him unconscious three years ago. He has treated the monkey like a son ever since.

Following the wedding officials have managed to confiscate the simians and hope to release them into the wild soon. Speaking after their capture, Mr Saini said: “I know my son Raju, with his wife Chinki, will come back home. I will hold a big reception for them!”

As a wedding gift the monkeys were released from their chains

And would you believe this is not the first time a wedding between monkeys has happened. According to news reports, in February 2008 in Ghanteswara village in the state of Orissa, eastern India, a similar marriage took place. It was attended by three thousand people and the bride was dressed in  a five-metre-long sari complete with sandalwood makeup.

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