Eminent actor Suniel Shetty and his spouse, Mana Shetty’s romantic saga is quite like a scripted love story, brought to life from reel to real. The couple first met at Mana Shetty’s sister’s friend’s birthday party, and hit it off from there.
Mana Shetty does not call it ‘love at first sight’, “Undoubtedly, he was extremely dapper and good looking as he was a model, but my first priority was to find a good person. I took my time to know him and understand him better. With time, our bond grew stronger, he would pick me up after college and spend as much time as possible together and we gradually fell in love.”
Suniel immediately adds to the conversation, “It was definitely love at first sight for me. She was very quiet and reserved and I liked her demeanor instantly. With time, we achieved a comfort level and that made a huge positive difference in our relationship.”
After seeing each other for nine years, they unified in a sacred bond and said the wedding vows on December 25, 1991.
Their wedding, including the pre and post wedding rituals, was grand and a 10-day affair. “My sister-in-law got married in the morning of the same day and we got married in the evening. It was exciting. The ambiance of the event witnessed various shades of joy, peace, celebration and tranquility with women wearing bright kanchivaram sarees all around me. I am married into a South Indian family so basically the customs and traditions are a norm and everyday thing,” said Suniel.
He merrily added, “It was love marriage but our families mingled easily.”
The honeymooning couple chose Phuket as their paradise to celebrate their love post the wedding. The Royal Orchid Resort welcomed the couple, who enjoyed their stay at the place for five days. “Suniel had just begun shooting for his debut movie, so we took the honeymoon in Phuket only for a small period. Suniel is crazy about locations with water bodies around, as far as I can remember, it was his idea to visit Phuket, Mana averses” To which Suniel adds, “I think it was a mutual decision to cut the trip short, considering the little time we had as I had to begin shooting for Balwaan.”
Growing Old Together
Years after marriage, Suniel believes, “Marriage meant increased responsibility to me but it also came with a promise of commitment from both the sides. That made my life easy. Life also found a whole new meaning, when we decided to start a family together.”
Mana says, “Being married means a lot to me. I am from the old school of thought. I cannot imagine my life any other way. Marriage gave me a lot of security, happiness, stability and most of all love. It’s important to share your life with someone, grow old with that special someone and share the responsibilities together. It’s a wonderful feeling all together.”
How Marriage works for this Special Couple!
“When you really care for each other you give space to each other. Trust builds and rest falls in place. I, for one, never laid any rules for Suniel. He has a very balanced approach and doesn’t need any kind of rules.”
Suniel laughingly shares, “I laid rules for her. I asked her to continue working.” Mana continues, “Having said that let me also add, we are also not that perfect as we may sound. Every relationship has off-moments. We argue about little things and sulk and then make up for it. It’s always me who takes the initiative to forget and forgive. If he says he does it, don’t believe him! I text him nice messages and try to strike a conversation.” As expected Suniel confesses, to take the onus of trying to patch up every time they have a tiff. “Arguing is not bad. In fact, it’s healthy for a relationship. If two people have equal rights in a marriage, this is bound to happen. I try and handle it amicably and ‘manao’ her if she gets upset with me.”
“Athiya has grown up to be a responsible girl. Aahan is 20 years old. They have become the fulcrum of our existence. I remember, it was disheartening to see Mana enduring the labor pain but it was overwhelming to see the little angel arrive. Kids changed me completely. I became more responsible. Learned to control my anger! I love the concept of family. To have a beautiful, loving and caring wife around, who dots on kids and is a great daughter-in-law, is enriching,” shares Suniel. Mana happily goes down the memory lane, “OMG, the arrival of my daughter was quiet an experience. We celebrated our first anniversary with Athiya on her tows. She was born on November 5, 1992, a few weeks before the anniversary celebrations. Motherhood has been the best phase of my life and becoming mother for the first time was a joy-ride to me with Suniel and his family around. Aahan’s arrival completed the family. Suniel was inside the labor room while both my kids were born. He is more affectionate towards them. And I must confess that Suniel became more expressive. Cuddling, hugging, kissing and caressing the kids came naturally to him, otherwise he is a typical South Indian man. I came from a very extrovert family where we were more loving and endearing in our gestures. The change in Suniel brought a big relief to me.” She continues, “Kids teach you tolerance, you become selfless and more giving. Whatever changes the kids brought to our relationship was very positive. I think our kids were the turning point in our marriage.”
And the Saga continues….
“I married Mana because I loved her and had faith in her. That trust has grown with time. There is nothing that I dislike about her. She is very organised. She has adapted well to our family values. I respect her for that. This respect along with trust has worked for us. Let me also share that your marriage will work only when you consciously stay away from distractions and make it work. Commitment for lifetime is very important,” reveals Suniel. Mana confesses, “It feels good to be such a big part of Suniel’s life. He has always made me feel ‘needed and special’. Marriage is a combination of everything put together, love, drama, action, emotions and prayers. It’s worthwhile to go through everything together.” They both happily share the same sentiment that marriage is a deal.