Sugar and Spice
Posted online: Friday, November 05, 2004 at 0000 hours IST
She's an introvert. He, an extrovert. She's short tempered. He's calm. She is controlled and on guard, while he is casual and approachable. Gauri Pradhan and Hiten Tejwani, the married couple of Kutumb and lovers of the popular serial Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, are as different as chalk and cheese. Yet, it is these differences that bind them together making them a cute two-some who have just begun to tread the journey of life as husband and wife. Here, they talk about how two strangers who met for the first time for a commercial became real life partners without either of them formally proposing the other
Their first encounter?Gauri:
I distinctly remember it was at the airport when we were leaving for Hyderabad! We were to shoot a soap ad for Rajiv Menon. The ad later became very popular.
The client, whom we were to do the ad for, introduced us. He said, "This is Gauri and this is Hiten." That was the only thing we spoke through out the three days shoot. So you can imagine how reserved Gauri is! I thought she was just like other models thorough professional and wanting to remain aloof. You know how most models are! They prefer to be with themselves. They don't like anybody treading their area...
G (cutting in): Models aren't like that...H:
Most of them are... they want to sit separately with their nose sunk in their book. Weren't you neck deep into your book? I thought she wanted to be with herself. I said to myself, "Let's not disturb her. I should let her be."
(smiling) Ya... I was just to myself. And I did not even think about him so as to form any kind of an impression. I just wanted to finish work and leave.
Hiten, did that make you wary of approaching Gauri because of her on-guard behaviour?H:
Nothing like that! But I feel that with whomsoever I work I think we should be slightly friendly so as to be comfortable with each other while working. It is important for the comfort level come across during the shoot. But since she was to herself I let her be. I did my job. She did hers! I never thought that I would meet her ever again.
Till Kutumb happened. That's the second time we met.
So was the usually reserved Gauri open to friendship now?G:
For me to call someone a friend takes time. It started after six months of doing Kutumb. Initially it was just "hi!" and "hullo!" It was precisely after six months that we gradually began talking and discussing scenes. It was then that I got to know him a little bit and began thinking of him. I thought here was a guy full of life. Always cheerful! Making others laugh! You know all this while we had worked and never once had I seen a frown on his face. From a spot boy to the director everybody felt absolutely comfortable with him. They were friendly with him. I also noticed how the unit missed his presence when he was not around or not required for the shoot.
How did the two friends turn lovers?H:
Love just happened! Of course it took its own course I guess when we got to know each other well. We never realized when love happened, seriously!
Our love story is different. It was not one of those love-at-first-sight kind!
We shared excellent rapport and compatibility. There was an unsaid understanding between us. I don't know whether it happens with every couple or not. Like I didn't have to go down on my knees and tell her "listen, I love you." (Laughs)
What made the feeling of love apparent then?G:
I'm particular about people I become friendly with. For instance I would never allow anybody to message me or have my phone number but the fact that I gave him my number showed that I had a special feeling for him. Little things like messaging each other. Calling each other once in a while. So you begin to realize that you feel something for that person. You do not know what it is but there's something. I began thinking about him. I guess everybody does! At that point of time I didn't realize that I was thinking about him all the time but subconsciously I was doing it!
I don't think Hiten needs space... If he had a choice he would want to be with me all 24 hours... - gauri
What was happening was that we were practically together everyday shooting for Kutumb. But she'd be shooting for 15 days while I used to shoot for 35 days. The rest 20 days I used to miss her terribly. I'd sms her then...
And strangely even before we actually began seeing each other people used to ask me if I was actually going around with him because the chemistry between us was so good.
...And then the inevitable-marriage!H:
We both knew that we wanted to get married.
Ya... It was sometime in December last year we realized that but none of us said it. In January I told my parents that there was someone special in my life and I wanted to get married to him. My parents told me that since you have already decided to marry him then why the delay. "Why don't you just get married now?" they said.
My family already knew about Gauri. They also more or less knew that I was going to marry her.
And we got married in April this year.
Did you have to make adjustments before and after marriage to ones like and dislikes?G:
He might have made. (laughs)
See if you like a person you make adjustments automatically. I don't see any problem with that.
I'm not a difficult person a person to live with but for me everything has to be done in a particular way. There are no changes. So a person living with me has to make some adjustments. And I'm sure he has made them.
So who calls the shots at home?H:
(Just points at Gauri and laughs)
(explaining) Hey I don't call the shots! It's just that I say things impulsively. It is only later that I ponder over it and then ask Hiten as to what does he think and seek his opinion. I know whatever he will say he will say so for my own good. There's a great understanding between us.
Mutual understanding and trust are the base of every relationship
Hiten, tell us that one thing about Gauri that nobody knows?H:
She maintains a tough exterior but is a real softie at heart. She cares a lot.
And what is the one thing you dislike about her?G:
That he will never say! (laughs)! But I know-my short temper!
That does not make me dislike her because I know the way her anger shoots up it comes down equally fast. When she is angry I just leave her alone. And after two minutes I go back to her and everything is fine. She has always been short tempered. In 24 hours in a day she gets angry at least 25 times that too for a little while. And then she is back to being herself. I saw her first smile after six months when we began shooting for Kutumb. I knew she must be smiling, talking to friends and enjoying life but nobody got to see that side of her. I myself saw it on the sets after working with her for six months. She has mellowed down a lot now.
I was always reserved. I used to love to read so I used sit in one corner and read. I come on the sets to do my work, complete it and go home. H: She is always been very professional that way.
I was not interested in anything other than my work.
Love just happened. I didn't have to go down on my knees and tell her, 'I love you.' We both just knew that we wanted to get married - Hiten
Gauri, what do you like about Hiten?
G: He's very honest. He has a wonderful sense of humour. He is very understanding. There a certain thing I just can't handle and I lose my temper. But he will always be calm and make me understand things.
G: What I dislike about him? (Thinks). I can't think of anything (laughs). Actually he is so nice that people just walk all over him. Sometimes when I see someone doing it I get just get so angry. Why do people take advantage of a genuinely nice guy?H:
But that's the case everywhere.
It is now after marriage that he has learnt to be a little bit curt so that people don't take him for a ride. Still the change is very little ten percent may be. Otherwise he is the same Hiten. He also makes it a point to come home immediately after shooting.
Ya... what will happen if I don't rush home... I will be made to sleep in the lift (grins).
The serial Kutumb had you play a couple with differences who later find redemption and then in second part of Kutumb you play a close couple who separate because of differences? And in the serial Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi you are compelled to separate even though you love each other. How do you analyse this?G:
They are just characters we play. We give it our all. But once we are out of the studio nothing matters.
We don't even discuss our characters.
Thirteen hours we work here and then go home and discuss the same thing. How desperate can we get? I don't want my life to be like that!
They say that husband and wife should never work together as the individual space is cramped. Do you ever discuss this?G:
(pointing to Hiten) I don't think he needs space...! If he had a choice he would be with me 24 hours (Laughs). See, it is not that we are together all the time. Today after a long time we are shooting together for Kyunki... So we get our space. Also I see to it that I have my separate room on the sets. I can just ask to be left alone. And even if we are working together we manage to get our space at home.
What would you do if either of you came to know that the other was in a relationship outside marriage?H:
(confidently) Mere saath ye nahi hoga. It'll never happen so there's no need for me to think about it at all! (laughs)
With him it's not possible. He would never do! Even if it happens then I have to accept that it is lost. You cannot make the other person stay with you. You cannot make the other person love you. Then it is up to you how you take it. I'm forgiving but I never forget.
Right now I am focused on my serials. After this year I shall start looking for work in films. But I plan to continue to work on television. I may cut down on television work though if I get films.
G: I'm open to doing films now earlier I wasn't! I don't have any future plans as such. I prefer to live in the present.