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Gautam and Natasha Gambhir open up about marriage, bonding, parenthood and more

The KKR mentor opened his room in ITC Sonar for the crew to settle down for this chat and shoot last Friday morning, while he was away for breakfast

Saionee Chakraborty | Published 15.05.24, 07:57 AM
Gautam and Natasha Gambhir with daughters Aazeen and Anaiza

Gautam and Natasha Gambhir with daughters Aazeen and Anaiza

Picture: Leas (@leas.cc_ on Instagram)

If his Midas touch which won Kolkata Knight Riders IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, is at work again this year, with KKR being the only team to have already qualified for the playoffs, garnering love and respect from the fans and the City of Joy, his trust in strangers won us over wholeheartedly. Gautam Gambhir. The KKR mentor opened his room in ITC Sonar for the crew to settle down for this chat and shoot last Friday morning, while he was away for breakfast. In an age when most famous names around us are uber cautious about their privacy and security, Gautam’s gesture was refreshing, adding to our adoration of him as the man who made Calcutta’s chest swell with pride like he did Shah Rukh Khan’s.

We missed his beautiful wife Natasha for the shoot, who was supposed to join him in Calcutta but had to cancel at the last minute. She joined us over a video call and the couple chatted with t2 about their journey together and more. Excerpts.


It’s been 13 years of marriage for you guys... congratulations! How has the journey been?

Gautam: Actually, the kind of public life that I have, it was important that my life partner brought in balance, sanity and a certain order. Looking back at these 13 years, I’d say Natasha brought all of that and more. I met her as a friend. Then, that friend became a life partner. That life partner later emerged as an amazing mother to our two daughters. But now Natasha is not merely a friend, she is my best buddy!
Natasha: I feel we are still fairly young in this relationship. It’s just been 13 years. Every day is a learning and we are still discovering each other. Although I can safely say that I am a better pressure-handler than the person sitting there... (Gautam smiles), it’s been fulfilling and beautiful.

2011 was a landmark year. The historic World Cup win followed by your wedding. Natasha, do you remember where you watched the match?

Natasha: You won’t believe me, but I didn’t go to the game. I remember I was watching it at my cousin’s place with my friends and family.

Gautam, what are your memories?

Gautam: The entire country was happy, which is what you play the game for. But obviously, I was so exhausted after the game because I had fielded for 50 overs and batted for another 40 overs, but again it was so fulfilling from the point of view that what I dreamt of as a young kid when I picked up the bat for the first time, that I wanted to be part of the World Cup-winning team and that was the day it got fulfilled. What better feeling for a young boy who had dreamt of winning the World Cup for the country and made a contribution in the finals? So, obviously it was very exciting.

Did you call Natasha first?

Gautam: I am sure I must have (smiles). I don’t remember honestly, it’s been 13 years.
Natasha: I think he must have. When he came back from Bombay, we had a little, quiet celebration. I hope he celebrated there (Mumbai).

You were family friends. Was there a moment when you realised this was more than friendship?

Gautam and Natasha engage in a rapid fire with t2

Gautam and Natasha engage in a rapid fire with t2

Pictures: Rashbehari Das

Gautam: It happened very organically. I can’t point to a particular single day or moment when I thought that she was going to be the one. Sometimes the best relationships are the relationships that happen organically rather than thinking that we are probably going to be together for the rest of our lives. Then you start judging the other person. Once things happen organically, you just go with the flow. I think that’s what happened in our relationship. We just went with the flow and we are together right now.
Natasha: It was all organic. I had known him for two years before we got married. We met in 2009. Our fathers have been friends for the last 30 years.

Gautam, what about Natasha bowled you over completely?

Gautam: She has already answered the question that she is a better pressure handler, which I still disagree with (laughs)...
Natasha: I don’t agree with this at all (laughs)....
Gautam: It’s just where you find your happiness, peace and more importantly, where you feel that this is the person you’ll be happy spending your life with. There are so many other qualities... the way she handles the kids, the family... it’s taken a lot of pressure off me because of the kind of profession I am in, I need to concentrate on that and not have any extra pressure. Overall, I think, it’s just the way we two people are. We are pretty simple and this was something which was important to me.

Natasha, what made you decide Gautam is the perfect life partner for you?

Natasha: He is a complete family man. He balances his personal and professional life beautifully. Even when he leaves home for his work commitments, he leaves a part of him with us and he takes a part of us with him. He’ll keep calling and checking on the kids, whether they have come back from school or eaten or whether I have taken them for swimming. He keeps track of everything and he is never far away from us and that’s the best part about him.

Natasha, did you always enjoy cricket before you met Gautam?

Natasha: No, I had no interest!

Gautam, you knew about this?

Gautam: Yeah, yeah, which came as a blessing for me. I didn’t want someone to discuss cricket with me once I came back. There are so many other things to discuss apart from your profession. Life is far beyond cricket... but not for me honestly, but if you are spending your life with someone, it’s always important to discuss other things.

Gautam cut a dapper picture in SN by Shantnu Nikhil SNCC (Shantnu Nikhil Cricket Club), for a special photo op for t2, at ITC Sonar. Pictures: Rashbehari Das Styling: Neha Gandhi Binjrajka Hair and make-up: Abhijit Paul Assisted by: Sananda Mondal Laha

Gautam cut a dapper picture in SN by Shantnu Nikhil SNCC (Shantnu Nikhil Cricket Club), for a special photo op for t2, at ITC Sonar. Pictures: Rashbehari Das Styling: Neha Gandhi Binjrajka Hair and make-up: Abhijit Paul Assisted by: Sananda Mondal Laha

Natasha, have you developed a fondness for the sport over the years?

Natasha: I only follow IPL and I have become much better than how I was before and my daughters are very excited. They enjoy the game a lot and I take them for a couple of games here and there.

Gautam, who do you think her favourite cricketers are beside you?

Gautam:(Laughs) Is that Andre Russell or Sunil Narine? I think it’s one of the two.

Natasha: No, he’s wrong.

Gautam: Answer ya, who’s favourite cricketer apart from me.

Natasha: I hardly watch cricket, how am I supposed to have a favourite cricketer? If you would have said a favourite fashion designer, it would have been easy for me to answer!

So, Gautam Gambhir is the answer, right?

Natasha: Yeah, always.

Natasha, what is Gautam as a dad like?

Natasha: Words will not do justice, but he’s been a great father. Loving, caring and giving. They have a beautiful relationship. Like any father, he wants the best for his girls. At the same time, I feel he is already insecure about them leaving him for their higher studies.

Gautam: My elder one is growing up very quickly. That’s my biggest fear. She is not allowed to grow up so quickly.

Natasha: We have so many arguments on this. Eventually, they will all go study abroad and he doesn’t want them to go because he is very attached to them.

Gautam: They have started to follow cricket now.

Natasha: My younger one is six and my older one is 10. Now they understand the game.

Gautam: Aazeen’s favourite is Russell and Anaiza’s is Rinku Singh.

Do you make them watch your YouTube videos?

Gautam: Not at all. I think my elder one has still seen me play, but not the younger one. They are happy watching IPL, which should be the way. They should be excited about watching cricket rather than thinking that dad used to play. Eventually, they’ll get to know once they grow up.

Natasha: Honestly, they love watching his reactions to a win or a loss.

Which is zero reaction, right?

Natasha: This year there has been no reaction, but before this there was. They used to go to YouTube and keep seeing those videos. Before going to school, they would ask: ‘How did papa react?’ That’s their favourite part about the game.

Gautam, what are you inculcating in your daughters?

Gautam: Freedom. More importantly, they should grow up as nice human beings. They are free to do anything. There is no pressure that they have to become this or that. In this day and age, it is important for the kids to make their own decisions.

What are the family-favourite activities?

Gautam: We go quite a lot for dinners and holidays. Whenever I get time, we make sure we go for a holiday, even if it’s a short one. That’s my time with them. Natasha ends up spending much more time with them. I love taking them out for shopping. That’s my actual stress-buster. I take them out for ice cream. It’s the father-daughter bond and they can share what they want to and it is what is going to make them feel comfortable with me as well. Sometimes when you are away... you don’t want that distance to come. You want them to be free with me as well. That’s the kind of relationship we want to have with them.

Natasha, what are your common passions?

Natasha: We like good food and when we choose our holiday destinations we are more or less on the same page.

Natasha, what is it that you want him to embrace this year?

Natasha: Honestly, I want him to embrace his own self because he has no idea how limitless he is.

Gautam, what are your dreams for Natasha?

Gautam: Just be happy and make sure that I and everyone around her can make her happy. If she is happy, all of us are happy.

KKR has been on a roll this year. Your message for the KKR fans...

Gautam: Keep believing in us, praying for us, supporting us. You have all the right to criticise us and abuse us, but you have no right to leave us because we all go out on the cricket field to make every one of you proud and we’ll make sure we’ll give everything possible to make all of you proud of KKR and your own self because KKR is your identity and you are KKR.

The guessing game...


Natasha’s favourite actor:

Gautam: Ranbir Kapoor?

Natasha: Wrong.

Gautam: Jhooth mein you can say yes! (Laughs) Shah Rukh Khan.

Natasha: Yes!

Natasha’s favourite actress:

Gautam: Kiara Advani

Natasha: No.

Gautam: Who? Answer.

Natasha: Penelope Cruz.

Natasha’s favourite holiday destination:

Gautam: London, which we haven’t been to...

Natasha: In ages... no, again wrong.

Gautam: Maldives.

Natasha: Yes.

Natasha’s favourite cuisine:

Gautam: Teppanyaki?

Natasha: Japanese... not teppanyaki, but the same thing.

Gautam: Yeah, pretty similar.

Natasha’s favourite thing about Gautam:

Gautam: My simplicity.

Natasha: Yeah, right!


Gautam’s favourite actor:

Natasha: Shah Rukh Khan. He adores him!

Gautam’s favourite actress:

Natasha: I have no idea. He is very secretive and he has never confessed to me about his favourite actress. Maybe all of them! (Laughs)

Gautam: I don’t watch too many movies any more, but from the acting point of view, maybe Deepika (Padukone).

Gautam’s favourite holiday destination:

Natasha: Maldives.Gautam: Spot-on!

Gautam’s favourite cuisine:

Natasha: Japanese.

Gautam: Spot-on!

Gautam’s favourite thing about Natasha:

Natasha: I think me as a mother.

Gautam: True. She is a fabulous mother. She is brilliant when it comes to handling both Aazeen and Anaiza.

Last updated on 15.05.24, 08:30 AM

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