Realising your teenage crush is two-way is the best feeling in the rosy-coloured world. The Ayushmann Khurrana-Tahira Kashyap story is a living illustration of love triumphing over hardships.
An unconventional male protagonist of Bollywood, Ayushmann Khurrana and a versatile overachiever, Tahira Kashyap, make for one of the most inspiring Bollywood couples who survived a relationship in an industry deemed to test love and its boundaries at each step. While these teenage love birds continue to pose as an ideal love-struck duo, their piece of struggles and hurdles is like yours and ours.
Tahira Kashyap is a producer, writer, professor, and theatre director from Chandigarh. After her Master’s degree in mass communications from Panjab University, the Brahmin girl resumed her career as an assistant lecturer at Mumbai’s prestigious Mithibai College of Arts, Chauhan Institute of Science & Amrutben Jivanlal College of Commerce and Economics. Kashyap’s tryst with performing arts began with numerous outside performances and as an active member of the college theatre club. The writer is well known for her books, ‘The 12 commandments of being a Woman’, ‘The 7 Sins of Being A Mother’, ‘I Promise’ and ‘Souled Out’. In 2015, she also released a joint autobiography with actor-husband Ayushmann Khurrana, ‘Cracking the Code: My Journey in Bollywood. The incredibly versatile Kashyap also worked as a jockey for a popular radio channel and has a short film ‘Pinni’ (2020) in her kitty as a producer.
Ayushmann Khurrana, who is most known for portraying the lives of everyday individuals who struggle with societal conventions, is also a Chandigarh native and was born in a Punjabi-Hindu family in 1984. The actor-singer attended St. John’s High School, which was exclusively for boys, and received his Mass Communications degree from Panjab University, cradling a dream of being an actor. In 2003 he participated in a singing reality show on a popular music channel. According to the show’s judge, singer Palash Sen, the young man won many hearts despite not winning the show. Khurrana continued participating in reality shows and eventually won a subsequent season. However, Bollywood only happened after much jockeying with music channels with Shoojit Sircar’s ‘Vicky Donor’, a film that broke barriers with the character of a sperm donor. That was it for Khurrana. Ingenious films with experimental characters like ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’, ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’, ‘Badhai Ho’, and ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ paid off as his best-known toils. Numerous awards and appreciatory accolades began pouring in for his performances in Bollywood as a singer and actor, including three Filmfare Awards, and three Screen Awards, to name a few.
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
A physics coaching centre brought context to the love story when Kashyap and her friend developed a mutual crush on Khurrana, mistaking his name for ’’Abhishek’. Khurrana, otherwise known as a sweet boy, maintained his calm and did not get involved in even the politest rounds of flirtations. One day, As fate would have it, a day came when by coincidence, Kashyap’s father took her to an astrologer, who turned out to be senior Mr Khurrana. It appeared as though their union was predestined.
In numerous interviews, the dimpled star often expresses how surprised he was to learn that the girl who was nearly everyone’s crush adored him. “We grew close at that family dinner. I played along that night. I behaved normally and didn’t let her know that I knew she had a crush on me”, said the charming star reminiscing about the moment he first spoke to his wife — experiencing love like never before. And there was no looking back then, in a city where dating was a big deal. The pair would skip their classes to go on dates. Acknowledging the bunking-arrangement, Kashyap once quoted how they would watch a film multiple times over soppy-theatrical sessions.
It took an utterly romantic candlelit dinner with the perfect background score for Kashyap to finally give her thumbs up on marrying her beau.
Ayushmann Khurrana and Tahira Kashyap tied the knot in 2008 in a traditional Hindu ceremony after seven years of courtship. The couple is blessed with three children — Virajveer, the older, and Varushka, the younger and an adorable pet poodle named Peanut.
During her first pregnancy, Kashyap felt estranged and insecure with her husband’s breakthrough film’s busy schedule as he was busy working on ‘Vicky Donor’. Typical pregnancies kilos while watching her man surrounded by beautiful women made her insecurities bubble, subsequently leading to the wife’s snide comments.
However, the year 2018 brought the dark chapter to a halt with the commercial success of the black comedy ‘Andhadun’ and the drama-comedy ‘Badhai Ho’. Unfortunately, the halt was short-spanned by Kashyap’s diagnosis of breast cancer. The couple stood unflagging to their chemotherapy sessions together with each other. Talking about the battle of shaken spirits, he was quoted last year on World Cancer Day, “Nichiren Buddhism gave you the strength to fight head-on. Now you are the victorious queen in front of me. I was happy that you are emotionally strong in a way that you are going to tackle this and fight this. We were together in this fight, but I was getting so inspired by you that you’ve probably become stronger than me. You have a great presence. It doesn’t come from your hairstyle, it comes from your chanting, your practice, the person you’ve become, your experiences in life, and the sum of everything.” — reflecting the fact why love conquers all and everything in the end.