Staying in step
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- Published 24.12.05
Actor-director Sachin Pilgaonkar is widely respected in the world of Marathi and Hindi cinema. He made his debut as a child artiste at the age of four in a Marathi film called Aa Majhe Marg Ekla in 1962. He has acted in close to 65 films as a child artiste and some of his other films include Zimbo Ka Beta, Jewel Thief, Brahmachari and so on. But people still remember him for his chocolate-boy image in the romantic film Geet Gata Chal, in which he showed his acting skills. He has also acted in and directed quite a few Marathi films. Sachin also dabbled in television and directed serials like Tu Tu Main Main on Star Plus and Gilli Danda on Sahara Manoranjan.
Sachin’s wife Supriya made her debut at the age of 17 in a Marathi film directed by her husband called Navri Mile Navryala in 1984. The film was a superhit and soon afterwards, they got married. Supriya has acted in many Marathi and Hindi films like Nawri Mile Awri Mile Nawryala, Mazha Pati Carorpati, Ajnabee and so on. But she became famous after the serial Tu Tu Main Main in which she played Reema Lagoo’s daughter-in-law.
Both husband and wife shot back into the limelight after winning the dance reality show, Nach Baliye on Star One. The duo was adjudged the best dancer couple by judges Malaika Arora Khan, Saroj Khan and Farhan Akhtar.
I was only 17 when my husband picked me to act in a Marathi film called Navri Mile Navryala in 1984. I played Sachin’s romantic interest and he was the main protagonist in the film. After the film became a success, Sachin proposed to me. I must admit that I was in awe of him but it was difficult for me at that point of time to take such a decision. Initially, we used to meet at Sachin’s place because I was too scared to go out with him. I didn’t even tell my parents that I was seeing him. I knew that my father would oppose our match as I was studying in college at that time. And when my father came to know about our relationship, he put his foot down and was totally against the marriage. But very soon things got sorted out once they met Sachin. However, my parents didn’t want to wait too long and we immediately got married in 1985.
There is a 10-year age difference between us, but that doesn’t hamper our relationship. In fact, I could say that I have literally grown up after marriage. Sachin has never neglected me for his work and has always pampered me. Even now, he pulls my leg and says that I took advantage of of the fact that I was so much younger than him. Thankfully, my mother-in-law was very supportive and insisted that I should finish my education first. For me, everything happened by chance as I never planned things beforehand. I never intended to become an actress but was chosen by Sachin for his Marathi film. Thereafter, there was no looking back and my hands were always full with acting assignments. My husband has always encouraged me to take up good projects and has given me enough space. He never interferes in my work but does point out my mistakes. We have seen the ups and downs of life and I must say that I am lucky to have such a wonderful husband who knows how to handle situations.
There’s another side to Sachin which nobody knows. He’s a complete family man and takes care of all the little things. For instance, whenever he returns home late, he tiptoes into the room to avoid making a noise. He also takes good care of our daughter Shriya and his mom. But what I don’t like in him is the fact that over time, he has developed bad habits like never keeping things in their proper place. But considering that he’s so busy, I sometimes ignore these little things.
Sachin is a simple, honest person with minimal needs. True, at times, he becomes very authoritative, but he’s the most loving husband. Our 16-year-old daughter is the bonding factor in our relationship. Being a mother, I tend to discipline my child but she knows that her father is there to meet her demands. His dedication towards work, disciplined yet simple lifestyle and love towards his family are truly exemplary. I respect his intelligence and am proud to be his wife.
Honestly speaking, when I first met Supriya, I was simply floored by her dimples. All boys want their partners to be like their moms. In my case too, Supriya resembled my mom a bit. I can’t say what exactly happened when we first met on the sets of our Marathi film. Love is an emotion and it can only be experienced. When she came to our family, she was very young. And though she could not meet my late father, she became very close to my mom. They shared a wonderful relationship which ultimately motivated me to make the comedy Tu Tu Main Main on the small screen.
It was the birth of our daughter which added new meaning to our lives. We’ve brought her up with middle-class values and I encourage Shriya to stand on her own feet. Just because she’s a star kid doesn’t mean that she can lead an extravagant lifestyle. I am also thankful to my wife for spending so much time with my daughter and giving her a normal upbringing.
Shriya is only 16 and if any day she comes and tells us about her life partner, I would probably react in the same way as my father-in-law did. I can now understand what he must’ve gone through when Supriya told him about me. It’s only because what worked for Supriya may not work for Shriya today.
As a person, Supriya is very straightforward and honest. But at times, she’s a bit nagging and impulsive. As a wife and companion, she’s taught me a lot of things about myself. For us, romance doesn’t mean going out for candlelight dinners or long drives. It’s those small loving gestures that add meaning to the relationship. In fact, after we were declared the Nach Baliye winners recently, she held my hands tight to show how much it meant to her. It’s these little gestures that hold a lot of significance. All in all, Supriya is not only a caring wife, but also a wonderful person.