This time it is for sure. Ajith Kumar and Shalini are getting married on the 24th of April between 9.00 and 10.00 a.m. Shalini is a Protestant Christian and Ajith is a Hindu Brahmin. But religion is not going to come in their way. It will be civil ceremony and after the marriage is registered, the duo will exchange rings and Ajith will then tie the sacred 'thali' to Shalini. A simple, private affair at a Five Star Hotel, attended only by the family members. And a lavish reception is to be held on the evening of the 25th of April, at the Taj Connemara in the city. On May 1st , the actor's birthday, the newly weds are planning to hold a reception in Madurai, solely for the actor's fans. Ajith announced this at a press meet held at the G.R.T. Hotel, Chennai. With him were his parents P.S. Mani and Mohini Mani, Shalini and her father. Shalini's mother being indisposed could not attend the press meet.
The Ajith - Shalini romance bloomed during the shooting of their starrer 'Amarkkalam'. And when the duo was sure of their feelings they informed their parents and got their approval. Shalini meanwhile got an offer in Manirathnam's 'Alai Payudhe' (which is now completed) and 'Piriyatha Varam Vendum' a film she has with Prashant (almost into completion). With his newfound maturity and confidence that comes with success, Ajith fielded the questions put to him by the press with ease. "Shalini and I are getting married on the 24th of April. It will be a simple family affair. At a reception to be held on the 25th of April, we are inviting everyone from the industry, friends, co-stars, well-wishers and the press. But for security reasons no cameras will be allowed in. That doesn't mean that photographers are not welcome, do come with your families. I want the day to be a memorable one and everyone to be happy".
I heard your lucky number is six. Will you be having six children?
Ajith: (obviously upset) - "No personal questions
Will Shalini continue to act after her marriage?
Ajith: I think Shalini should answer the question. I don't want to impose my views on
Shalini: I won't be acting in films. I was never really serious about acting as a career. I would like to complete my studies. The few films I accepted came to me accidentally. Further I would prefer to concentrate on my family and learn to be a housewife.
Ajith: Many thought that I was being chauvinistic. It is nothing like that. If Shalini was doing a 9 - 5 job, it would not have been a problem. But for a couple in the same industry, it is difficult to make a marriage work. 15 - 20 days of the month I am away on outdoors. And if she is working, she too has to go outstation for a long period of time. We want to have a happy family and raise some lovely
What did you like in Ajith? (as Shalini hesitates for an answer, Ajith intervenes on her behalf)
Ajith: May be after the marriage you could ask her this question and she may have an answer. Ours is more a meeting of the mind. Today I may be a successful star. But to be honest, when I met Shalini I was nobody. And then I was recuperating from my back pain. So, it was not that she was impressed with me and it was love at first sight. We started as good friends, and love grew from that friendship.
She was a good friend first and a good listener. I am able to talk about all my problems to her. I am
lucky to have her. Since she too is from this industry, it helps her to understand my problems
After your marriage, will you be staying with her parents, your parents or have a home of your own?
Ajith: After marriage…. Uh… (Ajith is lost for an answer) See this is a personal question and I don't think anyone or the public should be interested in the matter. I'll decide it with my family. Whichever makes Shalini happy I am for it.
One heard rumours about your conversion…
Ajith: I too have been reading about this in the press. But it's not true. Shalini is a Protestant Christian and my father is a Brahmin from Palghat. But no one is changing the religion. She can practice hers, and I mine. We won't force our views on each other. Tomorrow when we have children, we will be teaching them all the religions, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity. And when they grow to adulthood, they're free to choose whatever they want. Religion is not the issue. What is important is that Shalini and I are comfortable with each other. We love each other and that's all that counts.
We wish the couple a happy courtship. We'll wish them again when the D-day