Chunky with daughters, Rysa and ananya, and wife Bhavna
Chunky with daughters, Rysa and ananya, and wife Bhavna

Chunky Panday has an amazing sense of humour. No wonder, his interview about how he met his wife, Bhavna, is a laugh-a-thon. Read on as he talks tongue-in-cheek about how he proposed to her simply because his telephone bills were alarming and his trips to Delhi were burning a hole in his pocket, and more…

When and how did you first meet Bhavna?

Twenty-five years ago, after judging a preliminary round of Miss India in Delhi, I missed my flight to Mumbai, so I went to the discotheque Ghungroo. Bhavna was there with a friend of hers. She had snuck out of the house because it was a weekend.

Who played Cupid?

Bhavna’s college friend, Ivy George (who is in Chicago now).

How I Met My Wife: Chunky Panday gets candid about how he met and fell in love with his wife, Bhavna
How I Met My Wife: Chunky Panday gets candid about how he met and fell in love with his wife, Bhavna
How I Met My Wife: Chunky Panday gets candid about how he met and fell in love with his wife, Bhavna

Did the bell begin tolling immediately or did that happen later?

The moment I saw Bhavna (I don't know about her), I felt that I have seen her somewhere before… may be in the past life. (Afterthought) Oh God, I am sounding so romantic!

Take us through the initial days of your relationship...

When Bhavna gave me her number, I didn’t have a paper or pen but fortunately, I have a very good memory with numbers. A month later when I was in Delhi, I called up her house and I was told that she had flown abroad for good. I thought our love story had come to an end. Later, I came to know that she had gone abroad only for a few months to train to become an air hostess with Lufthansa. Then a common friend informed me that Bhavna is in Mumbai and is staying at the Leela Hotel. I called up the hotel and asked for her room number. Later on, with her girlfriends from Lufthansa, we behaved like crazy youngsters and hung out together a lot.

What was the ice-breaker?

We broke a lot of ice and had a lot of drinks. Another thing that worked for me was that I took her for the Michael Jackson concert and got VIP seats too!

How I Met My Wife: Chunky Panday gets candid about how he met and fell in love with his wife, Bhavna
How I Met My Wife: Chunky Panday gets candid about how he met and fell in love with his wife, Bhavna

Who took the initiative of a first date? 

I was shooting for Tirchi Topiwale. She came on my sets with her friends. And the first date was set up.

Did you guys go Dutch on your first date?

I wish we had, but that night I paid the bill (laughs).

What did you take with you on the first date? 

I borrowed my brother's BMW convertible and took the girls for a joyride in that open air car to impress them.

Who said I love you first?

You know something, we still haven’t said ‘I love you’ to each other till now because it's understood that we love each other.

How many times in a day would you speak to her? 

I would sleep for four hours and speak to her for 20. In those days, calls on STD and ISD were very expensive. Also, I kept flying to Delhi to meet her. So, one day, I told her, ‘This is too expensive a relationship. Let's try to cut costs down and live in the same town and maybe, get married.’ And I proposed to her.

Who is more possessive between the two of you? 

Both of us are possessive about each other. 

Who proposed marriage? 

I proposed marriage. I was shooting in Sikkim and she was on a long flight to Germany and the realisation hit me: ‘God I can't live without this girl.’ When she came back from her trip, I flew to Delhi and took her out to Bukhara, a restaurant in the Maurya hotel, and proposed to her. She instantly said,“Yes.”

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