How I Met My Partner: Chef Varun Inamdar Talks About His Recipe For A Perfect Marriage, How He Met His Wife, And More

How I Met My Partner: Chef Varun Inamdar Talks About His Recipe For A Perfect Marriage, How He Met His Wife, And More

Their love story is no dal-chawal affair; it is as interesting as fish curry

Anita Raheja Updated: Saturday, June 22, 2024, 10:02 PM IST
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Varun Inamdar and Tejashree |

Ask chef Varun Inamdar, who wears many hats including food stylist, chocolatier, etc., the recipe for a perfect marriage, and he replies spontaneously, “A deep connection. We don’t have to literally spell things out. One glance, one word, one whistle, one little nudge, and that’s our communication today.” Their love story is no dal-chawal affair; it is as interesting as fish curry. Read on.

Q. How and when did you meet your wife, Tejashree?

A. Tejashree and I happened to know of each other as school children. I deliberately use the phrase “knew of” because that is how it genuinely was. My father had his group of friends, and one day her father became a part of that inner circle. That is when we started meeting each other as family, regularly, mostly at family gatherings and galas. We found our corners through that.

Q. What was the initial reaction when you saw her?

A. Frankly, it was never like violins and pianos playing in the background. We met each other as acquaintances and then immediately became comfortable in each other’s company. The connection started deepening when we exchanged phone numbers. I still remember, our parents had given us our respective 18th birthday gifts. That night we were chatting right till the break of dawn. I feel that is where it all started.

What are the qualities that attracted you to her?

A. As a person, she is shy for the world, but she can be extremely talkative if she takes a liking to someone. I feel that is what stood out for me since I can talk even to a log of wood with equal flair. Unlike me, she is quiet. Otherwise, she is kind, compassionate, accepting, and mostly at peace, just like me. We are happiest together but also happy and non-interfering, doing our own things on the same couch.

Q. Who took the initiative to get to know each other?

A. I think I did, but it was mutually ringing the right chords. Knowing this timorous girl for over three decades now, I really wonder how it all just fell into place. And so correctly! Life has its own Tetris to play, I guess.

Q. Who played Cupid?

A. Family unknowingly played one. We both had, and continue to have, a common friend, Manisha, who today is a renowned gynaecologist. I told her casually on one of our outings, and she gave us the confidence that this indeed was it.

Q. What was the ice-breaker?

A. The mobile phone! And it was the accompanying telephone company bill that ratted everything out to the family.

Q. Who took the initiative to fix a date?

A. A simple question: “Hey, what’s up?” is where it all began. I sent an SMS across, sitting in one of my college lectures, and then gradually it moved onto if we could meet in the evening? We still didn’t understand words like ‘date’ and ‘propose’ because there was nothing like that. It was just a sparkling mutual connection and admiration that led the way.

Q. Where did you guys go for your first meeting, and did you take anything for her, like some flowers?

A. We went for long walks. That’s it. Much later, I took her to a cricket match at Wankhede since she has a liking for the sport. She always idolised Sachin Tendulkar and Shah Rukh Khan. Since I knew both personally, I requested them if they could spare a minute to see her. They very graciously agreed and spent over an hour with us. But this was neither a bait nor was it a way to impress her because we are both not that kind. But that’s all that a shy girl like her silently always wished for, and I was the happiest to fulfill that. No flowers could have done that.

Q. Who said I love you first?

A. Neither of us. I don’t think we had the insolence and guts.

Q. How many years were you seeing each other until you decided to marry?

A. For almost eight years until we got married in 2009. We did not even think about marriage; we were just happy spending time with each other. Until one day, our parents met and decided on marriage for us. We were sheepishly celebrating when the dates were announced. On our first trip to Egypt, we ended up buying books on ancient history because everything flew over our heads like an aircraft. I remember calling my friend Jackie Shroff and telling him about our upcoming marriage. He replied in one word, “Marega.” That didn’t help much. Hahaha.

Q. Who is short-tempered?

A. Ask her, and she would say “Him.” And I agree, as my threshold for tolerating nonsense is very low; it’s almost zero these days!

Q. Who is the funnier between the two?

A. I can laugh at even the thought of a joke I last heard. From her, I learned that humour is subjective. She can sleep through a stand-up act.

Q. You cook for the world; please tell the readers what she cooks for you?

A. The best fish curry on the planet. She fries fish like a pro and makes the best chapatis!

Love for me is: Compassion.

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