There is no frivolity in the love story of actor-couple Manav Gohil and Shweta Kawaatra. They were serious about each other once they made the transition from friends to lovers. The Free Press Journal caught up with the actor for an exclusive chat. Excerpts:
When and how did you first meet Shweta?
I first met Shweta on the sets of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii. I think in 1999 or the beginning of 2000.
Who played Cupid?
A couch on the sets of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii played Cupid. There was a single couch in the living room of the set. After lunch, Shweta would quickly grab a nap on the couch; it was pretty secluded at that time. One day, I chose the couch to take a nap, and she made it palpable that she didn’t like the fact that I had taken the couch. Later it shaped into a friendly affair.
What was your initial reaction when you saw her? Did the bells begin tolling immediately, or did it happen later?
No bells rang. Shweta was a girl different from the ones I knew. She was a south Delhi girl, while I came from a small city, Baroda. She was a sought-after actress on TV at that time. She was one of the most favourite antagonists. It was the unspoken word that we could be friends, but that’s about it. When we found true friendship, we began to communicate about our lives with each other. When I realised that we had to take our relationship, she was like, ‘No, no, we should not spoil what we have’. And the rest is history!
What did you like about her when you first met her?
Shweta was a no-nonsense kind of girl. She kept to herself but had no airs. She was athletic. She was, and is, a great actress. I think what I liked about her is that she takes time to own up to people. But once she does, I think she really, really means that ownership, and she lives that ownership.
What was the ice breaker?
The parties held by Balaji. I loved to dance, and I was pretty popular on the floor. It was the one time when people appreciated and noticed me in those days.
After you came home, did you keep thinking about her?
Well, I wasn’t looking vacantly at the ceiling because I was preoccupied with thoughts about her.
Who took the initiative to fix a date?
There was no first date. One day Shweta suggested we go for a film. We saw Lagaan in the upper stalls at Chandan theatre.
What did you take for her on your first outing?
I took my bike (laughs). But yes, I enjoyed venturing out on rainy days to watch a film with her.
Who said I love you first?
Who is more possessive?
Twenty years have elapsed, and we have matured with time. Initially, I was extremely insecure, and I’m sure at some point, she was also.
Who is funnier?
She is funnier, while I have more intelligent roots. I am not saying so, I have been told (laughs).
Who is the cleanliness freak?
Shweta. She suffers from OCD to a certain extent. She likes everything the right way.
Who is short-tempered?
Shweta was very short-tempered when I met her. But in the last few years, I have seen a complete transformation in her. She is much more patient than me. I lose it when I am caught in traffic.
Would you guys fight during your courtship?
I am from a Rajput background, while she is a liberal-thinking girl, and we had issues. She was very aggressive while I was the calm one. Our fights would outstretch for three to four days, and I would say sorry. Actually, even she said sorry.
Who proposed marriage?
Neither of us. We were serious about each other, and we did have marriage on our minds.
Did you guys face opposition?
Yes, but our parents eventually came around.
How has your relationship changed from the boyfriend-girlfriend days to being husband and wife and now parents?
It’s been a fantastic transition. If I am the mast, she is the anchor. We have had our share of problems with each other, but the practice of Buddhism has helped us both as individuals and as a couple too. Shweta was never very fond of kids initially, but she has turned out to be an exemplary mother to our daughter.