“My first thought when I saw Jankee was, ‘How amazing would life be, if she agreed to marry me.’ I was only 18 but my instincts told me, she was the one. We were both training with Shiamak–I saw her there for the first time. I was also interning at BSE & remember travelling from there to Andheri, strategizing an opening line.
Finally, I gathered the courage & asked her, ‘Do you have a name?’ Her look said, ‘What do you mean, do you have a name?’ But she just said, ‘Jankee’. After that, it took me 2 months to get her number!
We talked every night for 6 months before I asked her out. I went to her house with a bouquet & a card–cheesy, I know! But all she said was, ‘I’ll call you.’ Then she called & said, ‘I don’t see you like that.’ It was a no go–but I continued to be her friend despite how hard it was.
6 months later, when I went to the US, she realised that she missed me. When I came back, I knew that it was moving somewhere, but she wasn’t forthcoming. So I suggested not speaking for a while.
But we’d already planned to watch Devdas, so we went for it, sat together, didn’t speak and then went our own way. In a week she called me & said ‘I like you too.’ I replied, ‘What makes you think I like you still?’ I was just playing, but for a day, she went through what I went through for 6 months! The next day we met & a reverse proposal happened! I made her wait for 10 seconds before saying, ‘Yes’! We dated for 9 years after–I’d have married her at 18 but it was a tough one! She comes from a traditional Gujarati family. They were hesitant–I wasn’t Gujarati or a businessman & I was an actor! But she was unrelenting! Finally, I spoke to her parents until they were convinced. Then at 2 am, I proposed to her on Marine Drive with a 5 page poem I’d written–thankfully she said ‘yes’ before the cops came after us!
When we got married, I didn’t even have a job, but she had blind faith in me. She helped me become the best version of myself. That’s what love is–relentless & unconditional. She’s been my rock. And now that I have the career I’ve always wanted, none of it matters more than her. Till today, my biggest accomplishment is that she agreed to marry me!”