The popular adage is that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But in this instance, it was the other way around. Hiten Tejwani wooed his co-star, Gauri Pradhan, with food! The actor gets candid about his epic love story exclusively to The Free Press Journal. Excerpts:
When and how did you first meet Gauri?
I first met Gauri at the airport. I mean, our eyes met. We were going to Chennai to shoot an ad. When we landed, the agency guys introduced us.
Who played Cupid?
Well, we started shooting for our show Kutumb, and that is where we bonded. Nobody knew, and when people heard we were getting married, they were surprised.
Did the bell begin tolling immediately, or did that happen later?
I liked her the moment I saw her, but I thought there would be no way to meet her after the ad. She was this girl who sat in one corner reading a book. She would come when the shot was ready and, once it was okayed, would go back to reading her book. In sharp contrast, I was all over the place, laughing and joking with everyone. Fortunately, Ektaa Kapoor cast us together in Kutumb, and I got to know her. Thereafter we started going out.
What do you like about her?
She cares a lot, but she is not very demonstrative. She told me she was very happy when she heard that I was cast opposite her.
What was the ice-breaker?
I would get homemade food for her, a separate dabba of whatever my mom cooked.
Who took the initiative to fix a date?
It was mutual. Like, let’s go for dinner or maybe a drink. I remember once she had made a plan, and I couldn’t go; she was really upset.
Where did you go for the first date?
We sat by the beach in Madh Island.
Did you guys go Dutch?
She insisted she would pay, but I didn’t let her. Thereafter we would take turns.
What did you take for her on your first date?
I would take her to a 5-star bar every day. I took perfume the first time I went to meet her.
Who said I love you first?
There was no need to say I love you because we were both in love.
How many times in a day would you speak with her?
The entire day and sometimes all through the night.
Who is more possessive?
I am a shade more than her.
Who is the funnier one?
I am. Gauri says she doesn’t need to switch on the TV when I am around.
Who is more short-tempered?
Gauri gets really upset when I don’t keep things in their designated place. She keeps everything prim and proper. She is a cleanliness freak while I make a mess of my cupboard when I have to take out a shirt.
Would you both fight during your courtship?
We hardly fought. But even if I committed a mistake, even a small one, I would say sorry.
Who proposed marriage?
I did. She was shooting at Madh Island. I dropped on the sets and slipped a ring on her finger. It was my birthday gift.
Did you face any opposition when you were ready to marry?
Nope. I would like to thank my parents and her parents for this. They were happy then and are happy today too. And even today, our love for each other as a couple is the same as it was when she was my girlfriend.