A perfect scene

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By Aashish Chowdhury and Samita Bangargi found each other on the sets of a television show and have never looked back since FAMILY TIES AS TOLD TO CHITRA PAPNAI
  • Published 24.06.06
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It was a romance that was made on television. Aashish Chowdhury and Samita Bangargi were picked from a crowd of hopefuls to be anchors on Doordarshan’s Disney Show and as they fast-talked through their performances, their friendship gradually turned to love.

Both have come a long way in their careers, graduating from modelling to television and then Bollywood. Samita was a small-town girl from Sholapur who came to Mumbai to study at Ruia College. Her first break came when she was approached, while in college, by a photographer for an advertising campaign. Samita has also tried her hand at various things and, after working on television, joined ad agency Chaitra Leo Burnett where she learnt more about different aspect of modelling, film-making and styling. Soon afterwards, she worked in campaigns for brands like Ponds, Lakm?, Lux, Close-Up, Clinic All Clear and Fair & Lovely.

Her biggest breakthrough came when she was chosen as the brand-ambassador for BPL Mobile. With her face on hoardings and posters all over Mumbai, she was noticed and got an offer to work for Harry Baweja’s Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai. She also starred opposite beau Aashish in Shaadi Ka Laddoo and next came Ramji Londonwaley opposite R Madhavan. Meanwhile she’s trying to build a second career and will be starting a fashion label for women, Sosam.

Aashish also started as a model, but on the Disney Show he learnt the ins and outs of facing the camera. Soon afterwards he was on another TV show, Hum Pardesi Ho Gaye on Sony that earned him recognition. He has starred in small budget films like Chalo America and also bigger ones like Shaadi Ka Laddoo, Girlfriend, Let’s Enjoy and the multi-starrer Qayamat. Currently Aashish is busy shooting for the Inder Kumar comedy flick, Dhamaal and will be seen in films like Kisse Pyar Karoon, White Land, Gumshuda, Speed and Rokda this year. He reckons it’s best to move forward step-by-step in the film world.

Samita:

We met years ago as co-anchors for the Disney Show on Doordarshan. I believe both of us were destined to meet because hundreds of boys and girls turned up for the audition, but the two of us were selected as anchors. Working together, we got to know each other better, but we were just friends. In fact, Aashish had a girlfriend and I was also seeing someone else.

Being friends we shared all our secrets with each other and each knew what was going on in the other’s life. Eventually I broke off with my boyfriend and Aashish with his girlfriend ? but not because there was anything between us. With time, we came closer and I couldn’t believe it when Aashish started hitting on me because I thought he was just fooling around. I was like, “Hey! Stop flirting with me”, but gradually realised that he was serious about our relationship.

Since we were friends first, loving him came easy to me. After seven years of courtship, we thought it was time to tie the knot. We have been married for four months now and I’d say life has never been better. Nothing has changed except for the fact that we live in the same house. I have always admired Aashish because he’s a self-made man and very ambitious. Apart from modelling and working as an actor, he also established his own advertising agency. Aashish has done about eight or nine films so far and is working hard to do better as an actor. As a person, he is very caring but never ceases to play pranks on me.

As far as my career is concerned, after Ramji Londonwaley I haven’t been offered any great roles, so I would like to wait for one that appeals to me. I’m also passionate about fashionable clothes and shoes. I worked with Chaitra Leo Burnett and have a good knowledge about colours, clothes and designs. So, as of now, the stylist in me is at work. I will be displaying my clothes in a few stores and want to see the response.

Aashish has always encouraged me whenever I have wanted to do something new. And with him around, I’m happy and content with life. Setting up my home with him was wonderful. No doubt he’s a very good human being, but I must confess that his obsession with cleanliness sometimes puts me off. Even I like to keep our house neat and tidy, but he is too much. If anything drops on the floor or anywhere, he will wipe it there and then and won’t budge unless it is clean. He wants everything organised to perfection. The nice bit is that I’m picking up some good habits from him.

Aashish:

Samita was more experienced than me in the world of modelling when I met her for the first time during the Disney Show auditions. My first impression was that she must be a snob like most models. When both of us were selected to host the show, I wanted to take tips from her about how much money I should charge and other things, and to my surprise Samita was very helpful.

Once we started working together, we vibed really well and became good friends. We would always chat on the phone and, at times, argue about different issues. I used to tease her because she lived in Dadar, which is not a very posh area and she used to call me a spoilt brat because I lived in Cuffe Parade, which is a pretty good locality.

We were two different individuals, but were always comfortable in each other’s company. When she broke off with her boyfriend and I with my girlfriend, we had each other to share our grief and feelings. I knew she was a good person and soon I also began to notice that she was pretty too.

I thought, why not see if it works and soon we became more than just friends. After seven years, we got married ? which was just four months ago ? and I must say it has been wonderful journey of togetherness for us. Like every couple, we have differences of opinion, but we always make it a point to talk it out.

Samita, unlike me, doesn’t want to settle for smaller roles or projects as she believes in doing bigger ventures. When it comes to work, she always looks for mental satisfaction, but I feel that you have to start from somewhere even if the role isn’t great. I’d rather be seen than not be seen at all, but she would rather not be seen than play second fiddle to someone. I believe both of us are right in our own ways.

But something I would like her to improve on is arranging her wardrobe She’s very messy, while I keep my things organised to the extent that my black jeans are in one section of the cupboard and my blue jeans in another. Also my full-sleeve shirts and half-sleeve shirts have their separate sections. Whenever I look at her closet, I feel the urge to tidy it up, but of course she stops me in my tracks.

If I had to describe her in just one word, I’d have to go with “classy” because she’s just so different from the rest.