‘I’m traditionalist, romantic’

Soha Ali Khan is one happy woman after her engagement to her long-time beau Kunal Kemmu. She’s in fact disappointed to realise that she’s “quite a traditionalist” as she always thought a “social sanction” to her relationship was not needed. In an interview with IANS, Soha has opened up about love, engagement and marriage plans.

So you are formally and finally engaged to Kunal Kemmu?

Yes. Neither of us is used to all this. My mother (Sharmila Tagore) is right when she says a formal engagement is not for the couple, but for others. As far as Kunal and I are concerned we’re very happily committed to one another. The announcement is for others to be assured that we are committed to one another. We’ve been together for five years. Now we’ve made a public commitment, and there was an implicit promise that I made to Kunal when he proposed to me.

What was that promise?

He did ask me if I’d marry him. But I was so excited on seeing the beautiful ring, I went around showing it to the five friends who were with us in Paris. I forgot to reply to his marriage proposal. I still haven’t actually answered. Kunal has been joking about it.

So are you happy with the formal announcement?

I don’t know why, but I am very happy. Maybe the ring on my finger has something to do with it. We all have all these notions about ourselves. I though I didn’t want any formal sanction to my relationship with Kunal. I am quite disappointed to know I am  quite a traditionalist and a romantic. I always thought of myself as a practical woman who doesn’t care for social sanctions. But here I am enjoying my engagement.

You seem very happy?

When Kunal gave me the ring I was quite giggly and happy. Kunal went to  great lengths to keep his proposal in Paris a secret from me. As you know, we live together and spend a lot of time together. And we’re such good friends. We talk to one another about everything, even the smallest of decisions. That he had to take such a big  decision  on his own, must have been quite a task for him. And he has chosen the ring so well. I am really impressed by his taste.

His good taste is already confirmed by your presence in his life?

That’s true! I am glad his good taste extends to jewellery. It had to be the perfect ring because I have to wear it on my finger all the time. I don’t wear any jewellery at all. I’ve always found jewellery to be an encumbrance. But now I am very happy to carry the ring around on my finger for the rest of my life. With some adjustments.

What adjustments?

I’ve to grow my nails. My fingers are too short. My brother Saif suggested that I get a manicure so that the ring doesn’t look like it’s in the finger of a 12-year-old girl.

Are you two getting married?

We don’t have an answer to that. We need to take a serious decision. Of course my mother has now already started planning our venue and menu for the wedding. She is A wonderful events planner. She had been planning my marriage for a long time. Now that there’s a name for the groom on the invitation card, she’s all set. Now we need to think about what kind of a wedding, when, etc. Kunal is a little disturbed because he thought he had bought himself four years of time with the engagement ring.

Four years?

Maybe we will surprise ourselves by going into the next level of social sanction faster than we had planned. Kunal has a lot of integrity, fervor and ambitions. What I love the most about him is his consistency. In five years, he has never wavered in his thoughts and beliefs.

You always said marriage was unimportant in your relationship with Kunal?

I always felt the only reason to get married is to have children. We’ve been very lucky to have very supportive parents. My mother is a very liberal wife and mother.

Do you like the thought of having children?

I like other people’s children!

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