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Since 1st March, 1999
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Homecoming for designer, telly star

The patriarch Jogi Thakur on TV is in jail after surrendering himself to the police. But the man essaying the role in Uttaran since more than three years now, actor Ayub Khan, is happy to surrender to the “serene and green” Jamshedpur, hometown of his better-half Niharika, a well-known Bollywood costume designer.

Since Thursday, it’s a been a happy homecoming after a 15-year-old gap for Niharika, glowing from a recent trophy for making The Dirty Picture such a retro rage.

The alumnus of Sacred Heart School, Niharika has earlier dressed up stars in cult hits Rock On!!, Band Baaja Baraat, Delhi Belly, Karthik Calling Karthik and Rocket Singh. But in Jamshedpur, she is happy to be known as the daughter of R.K. Bhasin, the former MD of Tinplate Company of India Limited, and Zareen Bhasin, socialite and infrequent actor — she did a cameo in Ramji Londonwaley starring R. Madhavan, another Jamshedpur boy.

The power couple, in town to attend a good friend’s wedding, along with Zareen, met up with The Telegraph in Golmuri Club on Friday.

While Niharika is revisiting and recollecting childhood memories, damaad Ayub, in his maiden visit, appeared charmed “with everything”.

Ayub, son of yesteryear stars Nasir Khan and Begum Para, is also the legendary Dilip Kumar’s nephew. But he displayed no starry airs. “I am amazed by the greenery of this industrial city. And yes, impressed by the golf courses and club culture,” said the star.

“In fact, I am taking my husband to my favourite haunts of my growing-up years. Much has changed but Jamshedpur has got the same warmth, the charm,” said Niharika, dressed in smart casuals.

The city’s clubs tickled their taste buds. “We are loving it,” laughed Niharika.

Ayub added he loved the relaxed pace of the city. “In Mumbai, we run around all day. Here, it is so calm, but people lead disciplined lives. They work in shifts and socialise in their leisure. I would love to stay here forever,” he said.

The couple will fly back to Mumbai on Valentine’s Day.

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