Actress Maanvi Gagroo who commenced her journey in showbiz as the bubbly Punjabi girl, Ambika ‘Bikki’ Gill, in the musical sitcom Dhoom Machaao Dhoom (2007) went on to work in notable projects like TVF Tripling, No One Killed Jessica, PK, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, and shows like Four More Shots Please! She currently features in the show Half Love Half Arranged with Karan Wahi. In an exclusive interaction with The Free Press Journal, Maanvi shares how humour is a big part of her life, her take on marriage and more.
Half Love Half Arranged shows Maanvi essay the role of a doctor, who has a steady plan in life, but things don’t go as planned. When asked if she also believes in the same or prefers to go with the flow, the actress states, “I can’t say what one should or should not do but I’m personally not a planning your life kinda person. I do make plans but I’m a bigger believer in going with the flow. So even the plans I do make are open to improvisations.”
Maanvi, who tied the knot with stand-up comedian Kumar Varun, says that humour is an essential part of her life and that she can’t be good friends with someone she cannot share a laugh with. For the actress, the compatibility, of mind, body, and soul is essential when it comes to her life partner. She also suggests that one needs to watch out for red flags such as, “Any kind of toxic behaviour really; not respecting boundaries, being abusive, no matter how ‘mild’ the abuse may seem, gaslighting, etc.”
Similar to the concept of her new show, a lot of women are pressured to “settle down” once they reach a certain age. Maanvi labels it “clearly sexist” and states, “Pressurising anyone for anything, especially marriage, based on age, is not right. These decisions, in my opinion, should be made by the two people getting married and them alone.”
The idea of arranged marriage persists even in this modern era and is sometimes amplified using matrimonial advertisements that objectify both men and women. Sharing her thoughts on the same, Maanvi avers, “By the very nature of it, arranged marriages break people down to their tangible traits. And since the first introduction of a person is usually their photograph, physical objectification takes precedence. Then come income, caste, religion, etc. and none of the personality traits make it till much later in the process.”
“I don’t think I could get married to someone I don’t know. But I do know a lot of people in arranged marriages who are happy, so to each their own I guess. Or better still, half love half arranged,” she concludes.