Sheís better known as Monika and he, as Vikram Kocchar in Saara Akash on Star Plus. And their real life romance was shorter and quicker than the reel-life one. As a celebrity couple, Sai Deodhar and Shakti Anand have garnered quite a fan following on television. Sai is a half-Bengali and half-Maharashtrian and her mother was an assistant to Amol Palekar and Sai Paranjpey. Her father was a cinematographer. And so making a foray into cinema as a child artiste was a natural progression. She first faced the camera when she was three-and-a-half years old in Kacchi Dhoop, a serial on DD.
But it was the film Prahaar directed by Nana Patekar where she played Dimple Kapadiaís son that brought Sai into the limelight. After that, she appeared as a child artiste in films like Amol Palekarís Daayra and Chudiyan by Sai Paranjpey. In between, she kept herself busy doing Marathi theatre under Sai Paranjpey. She grabbed the opportunity to do Saara Akash in 2003 and went on to prove her talent. Currently, sheís reinventing herself in her role as a criminal psychologist in C.I.D on Sony TV.
Shakti Anand, on the other hand, is from Delhi. With a masterís degree in pharma, he was working as a medical examiner with GE Capital in Delhi. He got into acting when he was offered a role in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi in 2000. From then on there has been no looking back for this talented actor who made a mark along with his wife in Saara Akash. Today Shaktiís appointment diary is choc-a-bloc with acting assignments like Crime Patrol and Ek Ladki Anjani Si on Sony TV. But the one show which both of them enjoyed doing was Nach Baliye, a dance-based reality show on Star One.
Shakti and I met on the sets of Saara Akash where we played pilots and I must state clearly that it wasnít love at first sight. We became very good friends before we thought about marriage. We would go out in the beginning with common friends or just to eat out, and thatís how it all began. Over the months, we realised that we couldnít do without each other because we loved each otherís company. I remember the day when Shakti proposed to me. Heíd gone to Lucknow for the shoot of Crime Patrol and he called me from there. He said that he couldnít live without me and that we should marry as soon as he got back. I just couldnít say no to him and within 15 days, we got married. The marriage happened this year on January 30.
Post-marriage, things have changed a lot. In fact, you could say that I have become a bit more mature now. Since my parents were from the film industry, I was pampered a lot by my grandparents. I am now a responsible individual and as a homemaker my duties have also increased a lot. But I am adjusting to it and of course I have Shakti to help me out. He is very encouraging and has always given me confidence in my work. But we never interfere in our career decisions as we feel itís something which we should be able to judge on our own. But we do appreciate or point out mistakes in each otherís work.
I have learnt a lot from Shakti and the most important thing is that he not only respects what he does but also appreciates the efforts made by other people. Moreover, heís a perfectionist and never fails in his commitments. But if I could change something in him, it would be his short-tempered nature. But on the whole, heís a romantic at heart and very sensitive. Mutual trust and understanding form the very basis of our relationship. He knows what I want and the most beautiful gift which he has given to me is the home which heís bought at Lokhandwala. Though we both are extremely busy shooting, we look forward to our leisure time when we can spend time in each otherís company.
Our relationship was based purely on friendship when we met on the sets of Saara Akash. We discussed just about everything including my girlfriends. We were always very compatible as friends and later, I realised she was the girl for me. And when I realised that, the first thing I did was call her up and express my feelings. We didnít want to delay our marriage and within 15 days, tied the knot.
Today, I donít think I have made any mistake in choosing Sai as my partner. She has no airs and is very down-to-earth. The greatest advantage Sai has is that she comes from a film family and knows how to handle pressure. Sheís also a very straightforward and honest person. But I must say that sheís messy and clumsy at times and should change this habit.
Since we started out working together in Saara Akash, I wouldnít mind doing another serial with her. Working together will only help to cement our relationship. And though we are no longer in Nach Baliye, we enjoyed our short stint in it immensely. Due to our busy schedules, we hardly get time to spend together. But whatever little time we get, we utilise it fully by going out to eat or watch movies. It feels nice to be accepted as a celebrity couple as wherever we go, people come up to us for autographs. Though at times it becomes distracting, I believe you have to pay a price for being popular. We are not party animals and so you wonít find us at regular Page 3 parties. The only parties which both of us look forward to are the award ceremonies. This apart, we like to spend more of quality time at home on off-days where we can relax.
People often ask me whether I accompany Sai on her shopping sprees, as men often hate to go out shopping with their wives. But in our case itís totally different. I am the shopaholic and every time, I have to convince her to come out with me to shop. Though financially we are very sound, both of us cherish a desire to possess a big Land Cruiser in future. And hopefully, Iíll be able to fulfil our wish very soon. All in all, itís been a very enjoyable journey with Sai by my side.