Beginning their careers with the TV serial Nanda Gokula, Kannada actors Radhika Pandit and Yash soon moved on to films, where they shared a successful partnership both on screen and off it. Their relationship has stood the test of time. And despite the constant media scrutiny, the duo maintained a dignified silence until they put a ring on it in August. On the eve of their wedding, Radhika explains what keeps them ticking.
When did you feel that Yash was the man you wanted to spend your life with? Was there a defining moment?
I can’t pin it down to one moment but yes, there was a phase when I realised that he was the one for me. Yash and I have been friends since our early days in television. We’ve grown in front of each other as both actors and people. For a period we’d lost touch and I felt I couldn’t relate to Yash like I used to during our early days. But one day, he called up and said, “Radhika, I like myself much better when I’m around you.” It was his way of proposing, but I didn’t want to jump into a relationship, because I’m not impulsive. Yes, I could gauge the sincerity and honesty in his voice and sense the old Yash. But I wanted to be sure, so I took six months to think over it. By the end of it, I was ready.
Was it tough to foster a relationship with the kind of media presence there is today?
Yes, I think most celeb couples face this because anything you do gets noticed, written about and discussed on social media. For example, if I change my WhatsApp DP, people will start weaving stories around it.
I think folks tend to forget that even celebrity couples are like normal couples. They too have disagreements, lovers’ tiffs and the joys of making up…like every couple does.
Everyone is watching your moves, they get discussed and sometimes even linked to unrelated episodes. It’s part of the game and both Yash and I are mature enough to understand that.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of being from the same industry?
The advantage is that we both know how it works, the erratic timings, days when we have demanding scenes, the travel that is involved and the extreme conditions when you have to be away from family during shoots. The flip side is that we can never lie to each other that we were stuck in traffic! Jokes apart, Yash and I started out together and have both achieved star status. I don’t know how the equation would have been if one of us were a superstar and the other a struggling actor!
Recently, we were at an event and somebody asked me, “How does it feel to get married to a superstar?” Yash immediately retorted, “Excuse me? Radhika is a superstar herself!” As a couple, we’ve handled both advantages and disadvantages with equal ease.
In tinsel town, you’re surrounded by good-looking people. Does insecurity ever set in?
When we got engaged, I got lots of hate mail from his female fans. But I’m secure in the fact that he’s my man and he’s chosen me to spend the rest of his life with. As for Yash, I’m sure he gets jealous, but he calls it being protective.
I, on the other hand, think it’s being possessive. And I love it.
What is the most beautiful aspect of your companionship?
The fact that we are friends first. That equation has stayed all through our relationship and had been the guiding force even when we became a couple 5 years ago. This friendship is sacrosanct and I’m thrilled that the man I’m marrying is my best friend.
My parents had a love marriage, too. They come from different regions and backgrounds. Yet, they’ve shared such a strong and beautiful bond for 30 long years. In a world that is increasingly seeing breakups and divorces, they’re the reason I still believe in marriage and lifelong bonding. These are the qualities I will be building my new life on. Yash and his parents have been most loving and encouraging towards me and my parents sometimes take up for Yash over me! I can’t thank both families enough, more so because my in-laws are so understanding about me being an actor and pursuing my dreams.
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Yash is everything I’ve dreamt of and more. I look forward to our new journey together