At a time when relationships around us are constantly crumbling, Aftab Shivdasani and wife Nin make you want to believe in love again. The actor, who has been happily married since 2014 recently decided to celebrate his relationship in a unique way – by tying the knot again!
“We had registered our marriage three years ago but could never have a proper wedding,” laughs Nin, on the phone from Sri Lanka where the couple was enjoying their break. “We wanted to have a destination wedding but couldn’t zero in on a property despite visiting Thailand, Philippines, UK and other countries. Finally, on a trip to Sri Lanka on our anniversary, walking along the beach at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, we felt there was no better place than this for a wedding!” Thus began the efforts to organise a beautiful albeit intimate ceremony replete with band, baaja and baarat.
THE LOVE STORY
The Aftab-Nin story began a few years ago when Nin, a Hong Kong resident on a visit to Mumbai (her sister Parveen is married to Kabir Bedi), met Aftab at a book-signing event. “It was love at first sight,” says Aftab, “I didn’t know who she was but had this urge to meet her. A common friend introduced us and we went out for lunch. Soon we started meeting more frequently. The more I saw her, the more I realised the feeling was real. We started dating within a week!” (Note to cynics: If you thought love at first sight existed only in books and movies, this story should change your opinion!). “Yes even I started believing in it after experiencing it myself,” laughs Aftab.
Within weeks, the actor was ready to pop the question. Once again, there was no filmy drama or grand proposal; he simply asked her to marry him and she said yes. Nin decided to move in with Aftab, leaving behind her life in Hong Kong. Undoubtedly, a difficult task but worth every moment. “The decision (to shift to India) wasn’t difficult, the process was. The lifestyle in India is very different. But I adapt easily."
The couple lived in for a bit before deciding to make it legal and get their marriage registered though the thought of having a proper ceremony with rituals and traditions was always there at the back of their mind.
That dream finally came true in 2017, three years after their court marriage. Aftab and Nin took care of every detail to make it as special as possible and the two-day wedding rituals couldn’t have been more perfect!
Breaking away from tradition, the free-spirited couple decided to incorporate local elements into their celebrations. Thus, from fire dancers at the mehendi to local drummers at the sangeet, a little bit of Sri Lanka made its way into an Indian wedding. They entered in a boat for the mehendi and were led to the beach. Another twist was having Aftab, who wore Troy Costa outfits for the big day, arrive with the baarat on an elephant while Nin – looking resplendent in a Yoshita Couture ensemble - demurely took the doli!
Both Aftab and Nin were clear that they didn’t want a big, fat wedding. “The focus was on having a sophisticated event with like-minded friends and family,” they chorus. Incidentally, it didn’t even feel like a ‘remarriage’ says Nin. “Usually the bride and groom, when they get married without knowing each other well, feel nervous about their big day. But we were very chilled out. And that made it more sacred. The idea was purely to celebrate our love.” Post the wedding, the couple continued the honeymoon period and stayed back to bring in Nin’s birthday.
KEEPING THE SPARK ALIVE
We asked Aftab what it takes to sustain a relationship given the stresses that people go through. The actor has some simple, but very useful tips:
* Keep ego out of the relationship.
* Misunderstandings may happen, but look at the larger picture. Don’t get stuck in petty issues.