Celeb Corner

Raveena Tandon: The excitement fades, you have to keep the spark alive

Raveena Tandon spills the secret of her happy marriage to Anil Thadani
Raveena and her husband

Raveena Tandon is undoubtedly a top actress of all time. The gorgeous diva has wowed us with her ultra-glam fashion choices and ageless charm. Well, we still can’t get over her seductive moves in Tip Tip Barsa Paani, can we? And the classy Bollywood inspiration is not only a determined businesswoman, but a lovely wife, mother, daughter and daughter-in-law, too. In a world where so many marriages are falling apart, Raveena’s marriage to Anil Thadani has withstood the test of time. Raveena, whose sparkling smile still makes our hearts skip a beat, spills the secrets to a happy marriage.

How did you meet Anil and how did you know he was the one?

Anil and I met during the finishing of my film Stumped. We became acquainted with each other earlier in the year on Valentine’s Day when we were briefly introduced by our friends. There was something very positive about Anil. When you meet people, you can gauge their background and culture from their behaviour. Later he texted me during the release of the film and expressed a desire to distribute it. That’s how we got talking.

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We met in August, got engaged in October and married in February the year after. I guess we just knew that it was meant to be. I’d throw test questions at him and wait for him to respond. I looked for the right signals. Anil not only came up with brownie points, but also answered all the questions correctly. It felt as if we were raised in the same household together. The way we felt about our families, our core values and how we were as people was very similar.

Do you think these similarities are necessary in a marriage?

Well, not necessarily. People can be different, but their viewpoints need to match. Basic perspectives – how you want to bring up your children, how you are towards your parents – things like that. I strongly believe that a man who can’t belong to his family cannot belong to anyone.

Raveena kisses husband

How did Anil react to the fact that you were a single mom with two adopted daughters?

The whole world knew that I had adopted two daughters and so did Anil. There was nothing to discuss as far as that was concerned. He promised to love me, love my girls and love my dogs. That’s when I realised that the man was worth his word. In today’s day, you don’t find such gentlemen.

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How has your marriage matured over the years?

Anil and I faced quite a few challenges before our wedding. The minute our engagement was announced, there were so many people trying to brainwash him not to marry me and vice versa. But we both had laid down all our cards – when things are so transparent, there’s nothing to be scared about.

As far as marriage is concerned, the first year is volatile. To add to that, Anil and I didn’t have a very long courtship. We were married in February and I was already pregnant in July. Most couples experience teething trouble in the first year of marriage. In our case, Anil was quite old school; he used to not talk for days after a fight. I used to get really annoyed with that. Because for me, pushing things under the rug is a sheer waste of time and doesn’t solve the problem. One needs to bring the issues out in the open and sort them out. You see, communication is the most important thing. The minute you stop communicating, you begin to drift away from your partner. A lot of people make that mistake and end up analysing and assuming the worst. When you decide you want to spend your life with that person, make it work. Don’t waste your time.

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Anil is a film distributor and you are an actor. Have there been times when he got insecure about you romancing other men?

Fortunately, Anil knows how the industry works. The only thing he was ever insecure about was the media because he has seen its worst side. He is a private person, doesn’t believe in false displays of affection. Luckily, we have never faced a controversy that has shaken us. We have always stood by each other. In fact, Anil is proud of the fact that I’m passionate about things I believe in – environment, animals and more. We make it a point to do things together. Sometimes when I have an outdoor shoot or an event, he joins me along with the kids for some family bonding time.

How do you balance your marriage, kids and your profession?

Indian joint families are a blessing – the perfect arrangement through which we take care of the young and look after our old. I manage my kids, dogs and the way I work only with the help of my parents and my mom-in-law, who has taken over the upbringing of my kids since day one. I shift my dogs to my mother’s house when no one is around.

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Your message to modern day couples…

Communication is the key. Yes, there will be times when you might have to go through a broken marriage. But part ways only when you know you both have given your best shot, not because of frivolous things. The excitement fades away in every marriage, but it’s you who needs to keep that spark alive. Understand your partner and be honest. But remember there’s a line between honestly and rudeness. Give love, get love, give respect, get respect.

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