She is a former Miss World, top Bollywood actress and one of the faces of international cosmetics firm L'Oreal.

She has featured on the cover of Time magazine, and is one of the few Indian actors successfully to have crossed over into western cinema - her wax statue has even been placed in Madame Tussaud's in London.

So when the green-eyed beauty, Aishwarya Rai, decided to marry the eligible bachelor and rising star Abhishek Bachchan, the news made world headlines.

There has been a frenzy of interest in her marriage to him on Friday.

Disappear quietly

But once the last of the confetti has fallen, Ms Rai may well discover that there is little compatibility between her glittering career and tying the knot.


Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan
From a goddess to a housewife?

The problem is that Bollywood does not take kindly to actresses getting married.

Wedding bells usually sound the death knell for most acting careers, and if the hard truth is that a married woman in her 30s can, in most cases, bid farewell to the silver screen.

Some critics say it's better she stops acting now before a lack of roles forces her to quit anyway.

But a woman of Ms Rai's beauty and status is unlikely to disappear quietly.


Film critic Indu Mirani told the BBC website that her options may now change.

"Bollywood is changing and where married actresses did not get any decent roles, now they are getting offers to play mature parts.

"Aishwarya will certainly not be shunted out of the industry but she can no longer do any of the roles that other single actresses still can," she said.

Guests leave after a musical night at Bachchan's bungalow early on Thursday
The couple will not be short of options once the festivities are over

Advertising representative Prahlad Kakkar says that she and Abhishek Bachchan could - if they want to - take advantage of the fact that they enjoy a huge fan following.

He says that India is an emotional country where people have few real or imaginary heroes.

"The couple are like the fairytale prince and princess of this country," he says.

"So the first lady of films, marrying the young prince of the first family of films, it's magical and everybody wants to touch that magic because they feel it's going to be very lucky for them, so they want to be part of the whole jamboree."

Mr Kakkar points out that together the pair could be a great - but expensive - asset for advertisers.

But he cautions that the audience may not take immediately to products which they endorse.

"Let's see if they actually do it or not, because to put them together and fit them in a product and suddenly, from a goddess, she becomes a housewife, and from a young teenage idol, he becomes a husband, it's going to be a bit of taking to in terms of their transition," he said.

Product endorsement

Product endorsements are a big source of income for actors and actresses who charge millions of dollars to lend their names and faces to ad campaigns.

For most advertisers aiming to draw in consumers in India, the first choice of brand ambassador is usually a cricketer or a Bollywood actor since Indians are great fans of cricket and Hindi films.

Bachchan and Rai
How will advertisers see the couple?

Players and film stars enjoy demi-god status and are big icons for the common man.

Aishwarya Rai is one of the top brand ambassadors in the country, while Abhishek Bachchan is the face for Motorola phones.

Brand consultant Santosh Desai says that the pair cannot be guaranteed to succeed in advertising in the same way as another Bollywood couple, Kajol and Ajay Devgan.

They are in constant demand and have recently advertised an international household appliance company as well as an Indian telecoms company.

"I think they should pretend like the wedding never happened when it comes to endorsing products," he told the BBC website.

"Aishwarya Rai has this air of royalty about her, she is like the princess to the manor born, an ice maiden who is unattainable.

"Abhishek Bachchan is the likeable, cool guy who is unaffected by where he comes from - that is his appeal.

"If the two come together, then there will be a sense of domesticity and normalcy about them. The air of mystique will disappear and that will take some of their allure away."

But most agree that is a pessimistic assessment.

Even if things do go wrong, Abhishek Bachchan can derive inspiration from his father Amitabh Bachchan's career.

It picked up dramatically after his marriage to the top actress at the time Jaya Bhaduri.

We will see if this turns into a case of history repeating itself.