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The stolen glances at each other. The shy smiles. The awkward first conversation. The warming up to each other. And finally, the innocent confessions of feelings for each other. Yes, there is nothing quite as magical as first love. Be it requited or unrequited, first love is special to each one of us. And it becomes all the more special for those fortunate few, who discover that their first love is the one for keeps. Television's latest chocolate boy Ravi Dubey of Saas Bina Sasural fame and the pretty Sargun Mehta of Siddharth Tewary's Phulwa will certainly vouch for this. The two, who met on the sets of 12/24 Karol Bagh, have found love in each other and couldn't be happier about it. In an honest chat with Showtime, the duo talks about affairs of the heart.
"I remember the first time I saw her on the sets of ...Karol Bagh," Ravi begins, "She was this cute, bubbly, very sweet and extremely positive girl. I, on the other hand, was very reserved and quiet initially. Of course, with time, I opened up. But at first glance, I never really thought we would end up being friends."
Sargun too echoes his sentiment. "During ...Karol Bagh, they showed me his pictures and told me that this is the guy who will play Omi. But when I saw him in person, I was like, 'Oh God, this guy looks like nothing from the pictures they showed me'. He was very reserved in the beginning. And even I hadn't imagined that I could have any kind of equation with him. It was only later that we realised that we could get along."
What started off as a close friendship soon blossomed into romance. "Sargun and I were fantastic friends. We got along like a house on fire. We went through various situations in our life together. And professionally also, we were very close. We were friends for over a year and it is only in these last five months that we have started seeing each other. So it started off as an extremely close friendship and it still is like that," Ravi reveals.
Although they believe that they are best friends first and partners later, they also acknowledge the fact that they are as different as two people as can be. "We are very different by nature," Ravi quips. But Sargun sees it differently. "We might be different in nature but in terms of values, I think we are very similar. We think alike in a lot of ways. We both enjoy similar things like watching movies, eating out and hanging out."
So are they not a classic case of opposites attract? "No, I am very talkative and chirpy and it may seem like he is a quiet guy. But he is actually very talkative. He talks more than I do. It's just that he talks intelligent things and I talk rubbish." Laughingly, she adds, "He talks about the most boring things on earth. If you want to go shopping for a pair of jeans, he will first search it on Google – what kinds of jeans are available, where are they available. And then he'll find out where the first pair of jeans was invented and all that jazz. Who wants to know all that boring stuff?"
But Ravi insists that they are poles apart as far as romance is concerned. "Sargun is a hardcore romantic and I shamelessly accept that I am not romantic at all. It gives me the creeps to buy a flower and give it to her. It doesn't come naturally to me."
Ask him what is the most romantic thing he has done for her so far and he defends himself, "I can't do all these romantic things ya. It's just that during an interview, I had dedicated a song to her when she was least expecting it." After a pregnant pause, he adds, "I think in this relationship, I'm more of a father to her than a boyfriend. It can be kind of irritating because a girl doesn't expect her boyfriend to behave like a dad. But it's my nature to be extremely protective of who I love."
Throw the same question to Sargun and she jokes, "Why should I do anything romantic? He is the boyfriend – the guy in the relationship, he should do all these romantic things. I cook for him sometimes, isn't that romantic enough?"
However, she is quick to add that he has some sterling good qualities. "Ravi is really honest as a person and also superbly independent. He balances his work and personal life in the best way possible. He is not a romantic but he still makes me feel special. He gets me a flower some days and then feels awkward about it. So instead of giving it to me, he just leaves it on the dining table and tells me I've got it for you. I like the fact that he tries to be romantic for me," she smiles.
A die-hard fan of Shah Rukh Khan and Shahid Kapoor, Sargun had once mentioned that the two actors come the closest to being her dream men. So does Ravi match up to them? "Shahid Kapoor and SRK are people I have admired because I've seen them as lover boys on screen. I'm a sucker for romance, so I started loving Shahid after Jab We Met and SRK after Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. But in real life, Ravi surely surpasses them," she blushes.
Even Ravi is all praises for her as he honestly confesses, "She is a much better human being than I am or can ever be. I'm not boasting about myself but there are a lot of people in my life who look up to me. But I don't mind saying that I can never match up to the nice-hearted person that Sargun is. She is extremely caring and has got a warm heart. I sometimes have to search for emotions inside me, I think the last 10 years in Bombay have made me a little cold. She is really warm as a person."
While reel life couples turning into real life couples is hardly anything new, most couples in telly land shy away from admitting their relationship. However, Sargun and Ravi had no qualms about going public with their relationship. Sargun explains that they never made a conscious decision to reveal their relationship or to hide it either. "Some reporter asked me that you guys have been dating for a few months, why didn't you come out in the open about it. I simply said that it's because nobody asked me. It anyway hasn't been that long since we are dating. We realised our feelings for each other, we got together and now we are settling into the relationship. Then when word got around and the media started asking us if we were dating, we said it was true. There was nothing to hide."
And now that they have gone public about their relationship, it is only natural that the audience will want to see them together on screen. So have they considered working together again? "Personally, I won't want that," Ravi says, "Once you've seen a real life couple working together, the mystery surrounding their romance is entirely exposed and lost. See, you are at your absolute best when you are with your partner, the comfort level is the best, so your chemistry on screen also is the best with that person. And I think you should save it for the last instead of exposing it to everyone right at the beginning. Maybe some time later in our career, we will do it."
Sargun though does not entirely agree with Ravi on this and remains non-committal. "I am okay with both. I don't mind working with him and I don't mind not working with him. Whatever projects I get, I see whether I like my character and what scope it has. That's what matters to me."
Guess until a great script comes their way, the two are more than happy romancing each other off screen. Enjoying the early stages of a relationship, they maintain that they are in no hurry to tie the knot. "We take things as they come. We didn't think about whether we should be in a relationship or not, it just happened. We didn't think about whether we want to go public about our relationship or not, that also just happened. So everything has happened in our lives without us really thinking about it or discussing it," Sargun explains.
Barely having completed her last sentence, she complains in jest, "He has never even asked me out properly till today. We are in a relationship but it wasn't as if he asked me out. It was just mutual understanding. Imagine! So first of all, he has to ask me out. And that too in a grand way with lots of romance and a big surprise."
Let's hope Sargun has her dream proposal soon.
And before you know it, there might be wedding bells for the couple.
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