‘I am quite envious of Karan (Johar) and my wife Neha’s (Dhupia) friendship’
'Karan is a very beautiful and gentle soul who believes that the right people should be together...'
Says Angad Bedi as he tells us how KJo played matchmaker in his marriage and the actor’s new role as a father.
Filmmaker, TV show judge, host and actor Karan Johar and Neha Dhupia are very good friends. Today Angad Bedi who got married to Neha earlier this year has joined their inner circle. The actor tells us about the special part that KJo played in his marriage and how the relationship has grown from strength to strength.
Telling us how Karan Johar brought them together, Angad says, “Karan played matchmaker in our marriage and relationship. Others felt there was something between Neha and me which could not recognized or tap into. Last year at Abu-Sandeep’s party at their home, when Neha was trying to play matchmaker with me and one of her friends, Karan took us aside and told us ‘I don’t think you understand what is happening here. You all should get together and need to figure this out as you are right for each other’. He said that the kind of equation or bond Neha and I shared many people didn’t. So we have a lot to be grateful to Karan for.”
Angad adds that they have a lot to be grateful for to Karan. “Mehr is as much as his daughter as she is ours and he believes that too. It’s because of him that everything fell into place. We owe a lot to him and he is family to us. He has a beautiful equation with Neha. He was my producer in Ungli and now it’s just a beautiful rapport that we share because of my wife. Karan is a very beautiful and gentle soul who believes that the right people should be together and we will always be indebted to him. Karan was the first person to show up at the hospital when Mehr was born and blessed her. He’s been so loving and caring even though he’s so busy with his work. He wears so many hats but still takes time out for Neha. It’s a beautiful, unconditional relationship that Karan and Neha share and I am quite envious of their friendship. I wish I can have that kind of an unconditional friendship with a friend which is not work-related.”Angad says when Neha first told him he was going to be a dad he first thought of what his father ex-cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi would say. “I thought of my dad and how he wanted things to fall in place as I was in denial for the longest time to my parents when they wanted me to marry and settle down. When I told my dad we were going to have a child he was thrilled and over the moon. It was a bit tough on Neha’s parents initially but they came around very lovingly. Her father is a great man and a mother is an extremely supportive person. We complement each other even as far as families are concerned and together we make a great team of the Bedis and Dhupias. Like my father and gets along with my father in law very well. My mom went through a surgery and Neha’s father was there supporting us from morning to evening. She is here right now since October and running the house day in and day out. I have a great mother in law.”
Angad is all praised for Neha too. “For The Zoya Factor I have to follow a strict regimen as my role requires me to be super fit. It’s been a challenge in terms of having many layers as a character and also the diet and exercise I needed to maintain a certain physique. My wife has been very supportive of my regime despite her pregnancy and delivery. She looks after the house very well. Neha is an all-rounder because I can also be part of such projects thanks to her as her time-management skills are amazing.”
When he held baby Mehr in his arms the first time, the actor said that all his stresses and worries melted away. “All insecurities just go away and you realize that there is so much more to be thankful for. Because of marriage and my baby I have come to peace with myself. I am doing a job which I love to do as an actor but something which gives me bigger joy is my daughter and my wife and home which I go back to. Nothing else matters. Whatever my insecurities would be they just get negated once packup is announced. It’s the most beautiful feeling when I become Us.”
Angad is adjusting to being a father today. He admits that there have been changes. “Earlier I would only think of myself but now I think for my family, wife and daughter. My dad had said this growth would change my graph as an actor and it has done that. When you become a parent you become more passionate as the dimensions change. I want to be like my dad was… I have memories of him brushing our teeth, bathing me and my sister, taking us to school, he would take me to the ground to play. He had two dogs Dujon and Benjamin when I was six years old. Whenever he used to have an argument with my mom he would make me run more. He would ask me to repeat after him – ‘jiski hogi shaadi, uski hogu barbaadi.’ (Laughs) So I have these beautiful memories. I want to somewhere be like him for my daughter as he was for us as a father.”
Angad wanted to marry Neha four years ago but she wasn’t ready for marriage. “We did a Punjabi movie together where I had a double role and she was the lead actress. She asked me if I would do it and it was a 20-day schedule in Punjab. For me it wasn’t about the script or my role. I loved the idea of spending so many days with her on an outdoor as I knew it would be fun. That’s the time I realized that this is the girl I want to marry but Neha wasn’t ready at that time. I told her mother also that one day I would marry her daughter and she was really surprised at my confidence. Neha thought it was very funny. We went to her parents home and I told them that I wanted to marry her daughter. They said they would love the same but she wasn’t ready but I guess whenever things have to fall in place they do. When I proposed to Neha I didn’t go down on one knee with candle lights on the beach. It’s great but we are Indians. Our families, traditions and values is what have made us. I am not a foreigner but a very desi individual and come from a different upbringing and we should go to Delhi and seek her parents approval and blessings. If they permitted it we should go ahead. That’s how we did it.”He says that his daughter will be his priority now. “I am a boy and I know the equation I have with my father. You have various phases of conflict and love with your dad till the time they both come together. I have gone through him being my dad and becoming my guru and now my friend. I love the equation and relationship that my sister has with my dad and Neha has with her father and I told her if we have a son you will always be a priority but if we have a daughter I can’t promise that you will be a priority…”
Angad and Neha are sure that they don’t want Mehr’s pics to come anywhere. “For me it is very difficult to understand the paps culture today where babies pics are flashed everywhere. We would like to protect Mehr as much as possible from the media glare because a child should be a child and not become an adult immediately. It’s bad enough that we as actors are getting monitored then your children get monitored and then get criticized for the style. I have a problem with child actors who come on screen or putting them on diets where they lose their personalities. They talk like adults as their innocence goes away. It should have their own individuality and be a child. There are so many pressures of society so why put them through more? That is why even tough Mehr is a month and few days old, you won’t see her pics anywhere as we have not and we won’t put out her photo. We want her to have a normal childhood.”
Angad is gung-ho about his career too in 2019. “Next year I have three very good projects – the Zoya Factor, and the web series Inside Edge 2 and Ekta Kapoor’s courtroom drama The Verdict which has the perspective of three lawyers based on the Nanavati murder case. It’s got some fantastic actors Makarand Deshpande, Sumeet Vyas, Manav Kaul, Sourabh Shukla, Swanand Kirkire… For me it’s like a paid workshop. Pink gave me a hold in Bollywood and recognition as an actor. I will always be grateful for it because it changed my life, gave me a career and a platform where I got beautiful roles including the web series Inside Edge.”Now the sequel to Inside Edge is complete. Angad says, “Interestingly, the makers had offered me a different role which was of a wild, gregarious, flamboyant cricketer who scores runs and has women and drugs but I declined it. I liked the role of Captain Arvind Vashist’s as it had integrity, discipline and hard work and was about a good man going down. Though it wasn’t an author-backed role it got me a lot of love and Shaad Ali saw that and gave me Soorma. Inside Edge is about a good captain, how he fights against the system and goes down defeated and then the second season is the rise of the Phoenix – how Arvind Vashist comes back with a vengeance.”