Love thy Love Child

Suma Nagaraj

Legend has it that on the sets of Bobby, where a chubby Rishi Kapoor fell head over heels in love with Dimple, complete with baby fat and big, brown eyes, Raj Kapoor drew him aside and asked him "Tum apni behen se shaadi karna chahta hain?!" Paraphrasing, of course, but this remains the conspiracy theory to beat all conspiracy theories in Bollywood.

Dimple is said to be Raj Kapoor and Nargis's love child, though this remains just a rumour — unproven but hugely debated even now. As news of Cristiano Ronaldo's love child came pouring in, I got thinking of the many love children we've seen over the years. You think *that* was why he ould hardly net one in this World Cup? Hmm.

Jazz singer Norah Jones, née Geethali Norah Jones Shankar, daughter of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and dancer Sue Jones, came into the limelight with the release of her hugely successful debut album, Come Away With Me. The world which till then thought Anoushka Shankar was the maestro's only daughter sat up and took notice. There were reports of some unsorted issues between Norah and her father, but all died a quiet death. Step sibling Sister Anoushka Shankar, a gifted sitarist in her own right, came out with an album "Breathing Under Water" featuring Norah, putting all rumours of familial strife to rest. The sisters have matching tattoos on their lower backs.

Hema Malini, noted Bollywood actress, has two children with the much-married Dharmendra and has gone on record to say that theirs is a 'marriage' for all intents and purposes, and he is a devoted father to their two daughters, Esha and Ahana Deol. Ironically, in a 'full circle' of sorts, Sunny Deol, Dharmendra's son from his marriage, is rumoured to be in a relationship with Dimple Kapadia — he's married with two children, she's divorced from yesteryear actor Rajesh Khanna.

Aamir Khan, Bollywood's blue-eyed boy who can do no wrong, reportedly fathered a love-child with British writer, Jessica Hines. He's refuted all allegations and there has been no paternity test, but Jessica's son Jaan looks uncannily like him — take a look and judge for yourself.

West Indies cricketer, the very flamboyant Viv Richards, was in a short-lived relationship with Neena Gupta in the eighties — they have one daughter, Masaba Richards, a fashion designer. Neena Gupta, now married, has brought her daughter up as a single mother for the most part.

Mel Gibson recently ended his 30-year-old marriage with ex-wife Robyn to solemnize his relationship with Ukranian singer Oksana Grigorieva, after he fathered a child with her out-of-wedlock. But recent reports say this union is on the rocks too, with Oksana alleging spousal abuse and taking out a restraining order against him.

Serial wild oats sower, the devastatingly handsome Jude Law, was again in the news last year for, you guessed it, sowing his wild oats away from home. His on-again-off-again relationship with Sienna Miller seems to be on again for the nth time now, but outside of 3 children from his marriage to British actress Sadie Frost, he now has a love child, Sophia,  with model/actress Samantha Burke.

Do you know of other love children? What do you think of this trend of celebs 'cocking a snook' at the institution of marriage? Would love to hear your thoughts.