Aao Sunau Pyaar Ki Ek Kahani: Genelia & Ritesh
Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza talk to TOI about their romance, ahead of the February 4 wedding
Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza are all set to tie the knot on February 4 after dating for almost a decade. In a candid chat, Ritz and Genie talk about their love story. Here’s a flashback into the prem kahani that has never been told.
The first meeting Riteish: I was flying to Hyderabad for the test shoot of Tujhe Meri Kasam and I was told that the girl opposite me would be there. I walked out of the airport and met Genelia’s mom. Then I saw this tall girl looking in the opposite direction, completely ignoring me. I was like, ‘Why is she behaving like this?’ Genelia (butts in): I did say, ‘Hi!’ I’d found out two days before that he was the Chief Minister’s son so I assumed he was a spoilt brat… a typical politician’s son… so I thought I’d give him attitude before he did! (laughs) Otherwise, I am shy and reserved by nature.
Breaking the ice Genelia: The minute I spoke to him, I realised he was a nice person. On the set, Riteish binds people. I didn’t know anything about films then but he made it look so easy. Also I found it endearing how he was so respectful of my parents and elders. Riteish: Itni taareef maine apne bare mein itne saalon mein nahin suni hai!
Woh pehli baar… Riteish: We started working as strangers, then began understanding each other. Off the sets we soon became best friends. I would discuss architecture with her while she would discuss college and exams with me! The beauty of a relationship is when you get used to a person; it is not sudden. It is just a process, and you don’t realise when love happens. After I came back from the Hyderabad schedule, I started missing her. I wondered whether it was right to call her or not. That dilemma lasted for a few days. Genelia: I was completely floored by Riteish’s personality. I think guys like him are rare in today’s world. I love listening to him and enjoy his views. Falling in love was gradual. Every stage was played out very correctly – be it friends, be it best friends or life partners.
Confessing love Riteish: There was no great realisation of love overnight, nor were there any great declarations. It was understood. We didn’t need to tell each other anything. We were together for days, which went into months and then years. Genelia: The gradual development of our love was so unbelievable that it surprised us. We just grew together. The best part is that we’ve never stopped being friends no matter how much our relationship has grown.
The romantic one Riteish: Neither of us are terribly romantic people, but we believe in special moments. Small things that have happened unknowingly have become romantic moments. Like this year on New Year’s night, we suddenly decided to stop at a coffee shop at 11.30 pm and spend some time together. We try and find happiness in small things. Genelia: We enjoy life and each other’s company. We have a great time over coffee. My world is very small – it includes my parents, Riteish and a couple of friends. When you keep your world so precise, you know what your priorities are.
Him and her Riteish: She is my flag-bearer. I draw unconditional support and love from her. Genelia’s love holds me together and to understand her love is something else. It is amazing. Genelia: I love Riteish. He lets me be. He encourages and pushes me. He’s proud of me and he’s such a secure person. At times, I get cranky but he’s always cool and handles things with maturity. I also love the way he conducts life and his willingness to listen first and then speak.
I hate you Riteish: I hate her memory! While there are certain things I may want to forget, she remembers everything. With time, some things need to be forgotten! Genelia: What I don’t like about him is that he the world’s busiest man. Even on a holiday he will manage to be busy! He will call and tell me he has these meetings and can meet me in between.
Fight club Riteish: We hardly fight. We have differences of opinion. I goof up most of the time but we never yell at each other. I am usually the one to make up first. To make up with a girl is an ever-evolving process! Genelia: I wait for Riteish to sort it out.
The proposal Genelia: He hasn’t proposed as yet… (giggles) Riteish: It’s an arranged marriage, so there was no need to propose formally.
No proposal! Riteish: I have always been weak-kneed in front of her (smiles)! Shaadi ke din bache hai na – kar doonga main propose tab! She was a teenager when we started dating, and I was in my 20s. We have grown up together, having gone from being really childish to having a sense of maturity. Genelia: Formal proposals are mere rituals. It’s important to be happy with the person you are with.
The engagement Genelia: There’s no sparkler (she shows her bare fingers). He’s given himself to me, so that’s fine. Riteish is my biggest and only sparkler. Riteish: Shaadi se pehle de doonga!
Shaadi ke baad Riteish: Agar yeh kaam nahi karegi toh ghar kaise chalega? (laughs) Every decision that’s been made has been hers, but Genelia has always been gracious enough to discuss it with me. So whether she wants to work in films or not is up to her. Whatever she decides is okay with me. Genelia: He’s always told me that it is my decision whether I want to work after marriage or not. Of course, I will prioritise my work differently post marriage. I don’t want to be part of the rat race, but I do want to be part of something good.