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Return of the Queen

As she embraces her singleton status, Nayantara is done with her share of controversies and the only apple of her eye right now is her career. In a candid chat with Vijetha Rangabashyam, she opens up about relationships, what love and marriage mean to her and what she has learnt from her mistakes

Being a celebrity is not as easy as it seems. Buried in all that fame and pomp, is a life that is always a spectacle to the public. It is almost an unsaid deal that their lives after popularity come with very little privacy, with arbitrary judgments being made and baseless stories being conjured. Our lady in focus is one such actress who has been through a lot in her eight-year stint in the industry. Since her entry into cinema, her life has always been an eventful one. On the one hand she has won the love of many a fan for her beauty and talent and on the other, she has braved the public decry for her questionable stand on relationships; controversy has been an integral part of her life.

Now, after her brief escapade from cinema, she makes a comeback, stronger from all the lessons her life experiences have taught her. It takes courage to live amidst all that bad publicity but it takes more courage to fight through all that negativity and return as someone bolder, to secure an unshakable place for themselves in the industry and Nayantara is doing just that. She has the air of a diva and in that petite exterior is hidden a brave woman, who has unwavering opinions on people, love and life itself.

On her belief in soul mates

I am a complete romantic. I believe in waiting for the one and I think soul mates exist. When you fall in love with a person, and you get married to him, you want to believe that he is your soul mate. Usually such a thing is a rarity and it does not happen to everyone. There are people who have fallen in love with their soul mates and they also end up marrying them; I feel that they are the luckiest ones. Soul mates have this strange, unfathomable connection. While one has something in mind, the other expresses the exact thought; that is something that happens only with soul mates, their connection is extremely telepathic. I have seen people who are not married to each other behave like soul mates. It is just that they are not meant to be together and that is just destiny. It is sad that not all soul mates end up getting together but I certainly believe there is ‘the’ person for everybody out there.

On her childhood romance and first proposal
I was extremely boring when it came to love while I was growing up. I played it safe. I had an equal number of friends who were both boys and girls but I never had romantic connections with any of them. Studying in a co-ed school, I was not wired to think otherwise about boys but as friends. However, many boys had a crush on me. In fact, when I was in the third standard, this boy who was three or four years senior to me proposed to me. Every morning under my desk, I used to find an anonymous love letter with a rose. This kept happening and I got really freaked out; I was just in the third standard! How does a 7 or 8 year old child comprehend something like that? I had not disclosed it to anyone except to my best friend who used to sit next to me but when it kept happening, I complained to my mother. She came to the school and they later found out who the boy was. That was my first official proposal. There have been many guys who have tried wooing me but I have never been the type who gets flattered easily. Girls generally have guys wooing them and chasing them when they are young and so have I.

On being in love and being a doting girlfriend
How I am when I am in love and as a girlfriend is something you should ask my boyfriends (laughs). Jokes apart, I think I make a great girlfriend primarily because I am extremely honest about what I say and the things I do when I am in a relationship. When I say ‘I love you’ to someone, I mean it a hundred percent and this is not restricted to my boyfriend alone; I believe in being honest to anyone who is close to me. I stand up for the person through his thick and thin and my intentions are always sincere. I am a doting girlfriend and I believe in taking care of my partner; in fact I overdo it and that is why I get into trouble most of the times.

On her belief in honesty and forgiveness

For a relationship to work, the foremost thing required is honesty. It might be clichéd to say this but unless and until you are honest with a person, you cannot call the relationship a genuine one. If I claim to like a person and I actually don’t, I will eventually end up badmouthing him or her without their knowledge. I believe that if you don’t like someone, just stay away from them. What is the point of being in a relationship when you cannot sort things out with them face to face? It does not matter whether he is my boyfriend or friend, to me they are very important and they form an integral part of my life; so I am better off having a few genuine people around me than many fake people. People do make mistakes; it is unnatural for someone not to make a mistake at all. I am very forgiving when it comes to certain mistakes. I have forgiven a lot before. However, when I forgive someone time and again, and they take me for granted, that is my cue to stop being forgiving.

On handling break ups and heartbreaks
I don’t know how exactly I come out of a break up or manage to handle heartbreak. As a matter of fact, I don’t know how anyone does it. Many break ups happen because of a legitimate reason. And I think that reason is good enough for someone to come out of heartbreak. I am usually extremely patient in a relationship. I am calm for the longest time but when I hit the saturation point where I think I cannot handle it anymore, is when the problem starts. I believe that when you cannot take a relationship forward it is better to leave the way it is and move forward with your life. A break up is a very sad thing and no amount of yoga or taking a holiday is going to help one come out of it, at least for me. If I take a holiday, I am still going to be thinking about it. I think time is the biggest healer. I always take some time off and work always keeps me occupied so it minimises the pain to an extent.

On her take on the ideal man
At the moment, I don’t believe that there is anything called an ‘ideal man’. There is no ideal man or ideal woman because everyone comes with their own negatives and positives. I think that whoever you are going to end up being with, you sort of have to grow on each other and learn to live with each other. I think the term ‘ideal man’ is only restricted to dreams or fairytales. It is very difficult to find loyal men these days, but if you do, what you have to remember is the fact that these husbands who are doting and faithful now and who also make wonderful fathers have done their share of mistakes in the past. Men change for the good because they learn from their mistakes, so I don’t believe anyone is perfect or ideal for that matter.

On why she doesn’t believe in love at first sight

It is very hard for me to say what attracts me in a man when I see him first. I don’t believe in love at first sight. I don’t think you can just fall in love with a person the minute you see him. When you first meet a person, you only see and understand what he is on the outside but you still won’t know what kind of a person he really is. You may be attracted to him because he is handsome or charming but how can you fall in love with him? I am the kind of person who takes my time in getting to know a person, be with him and spend a lot of time with him and then eventually fall in love with him.

On what turns her off in a man
I don’t like it when a man is insensitive to a woman, or people around him for that matter. As a human being, I generally believe that one should be warm to people. I have come across certain people in life who don’t treat people well until and unless they are of their same stature and that really puts me off. Whether a man is honest or not is something you find out later, but things like how he is with other people is something you can find out in the beginning by the way he communicates with other people. I definitely want to be with someone who is down to earth and humble. I believe a man should be very well mannered and chivalrous. I have met quite a few men in my life and they know how to treat people and they especially know how to treat women; not just because she is a friend, or a co-star but they would treat any woman with respect.

On why she is very trusting in a relationship
When I am in a relationship, I trust a person a lot. Sometimes I feel I trust too much; for me everything happens at a very extreme level. I believe that once I fall in love with a person, trust is very important. I don’t believe in being a very nagging girlfriend or a wife, keeping a tab on where he goes or what he does. I would naturally tend to him and take care of him to make sure he is doing okay, but keeping a tab on him is something I would never do because without basic trust a relationship is meaningless. I do trust the man I am in love with very easily and that gets me into trouble a lot of times.

On her temporary holiday from relationships
For me, love is a weakness. If I fall in love then it is quite dangerous and I say this because of my experiences. I am not ready to be in a relationship now. This is the time where I want to concentrate on my work and myself and other than that I don’t have space for anyone else in my mind. I don’t have any future plans about who I am going to end up being with or married to. So, relationships and marriage have taken not just the back but also the last seat for me. I am not saying I am going to be alone for the rest of my life. I obviously want to get married eventually, but right now I am not ready for it. I don’t want to jump into anything impulsively because of my experiences and the only thing I am in love with right now is my single space.

On what gives her ultimate happiness
Whenever I am with my family, especially my nieces, I feel blissful. We are a small family but we are extremely close knit. We communicate with each other on a daily basis. There is not a single day when I don’t call my mom. Even when I am back home and I step out to meet a friend, I call and check on them. Both my brother and I stay away from them so we call them everyday; being with them and spending time with them makes me extremely happy.

On being both a career woman and a home bird
I think I will be a healthy mix of a career oriented woman and a homemaker. When it comes to work I am extremely ambitious. When I am at home, I am a complete home bird. I love cooking and doing household chores. So I think I will do a perfect job at striking a balance between home and work. Whether I will stop working and be a complete homemaker is something I have not thought about. It really depends on the kind of person I am marrying and the frame of mind I will be in when I get married.

On her idea of a happy marriage
I think the key to a happy and an ideal marriage is transparency. There should be a lot of transparency between a couple and the minute you start hiding things from each other, the problems start. When you start lying, it never stops; you lie to hide your first lie and it goes on and on. Unless and until one is honest about what they do, I believe a marriage will not work. Other than honesty, I also think compromising goes a long way in any marriage. You have to give and take. But it also depends on what you are compromising on; you can give up on things that happen on an everyday basis but I don’t believe in giving up on the bigger aspects of life. I think if the newlyweds respect each other for who they are and function as best friends more than anything else, the marriage will sustain. I think if your husband is a friend that is the best thing you can ever get.
Nayantara’s Wedding Diary

If the groom was famous – Salman Khan

What would you like your boyfriend or husband to gift you – anything given with love

Wedding destination – beach wedding, any place with the vast ocean roaring in the background!

Designers– Neeta Lulla, but if it is a beach wedding then Vera Wang

Honeymoon – Paris, without a doubt!

Love Lessons from Nayantara

Being in love has its share of ups and downs and Nayantara imparts relationship advice to our readers from her experiences:

It is quite difficult but when you are falling in love with a person, you should be very aware of what you are getting into. Shakespeare did say that love is blind, but it is better that you keep your eyes open. I know love is an emotional thing, but when you are serious about getting married to someone, it is ideal to weigh both the emotional and the practical aspects of the relationship.
Never ever change for anybody. I have done it before and it does not work. If a person falls in love with you, it is because of who you are. What is the point in changing? If he cannot accept you for your good and bad, then the relationship is never going to work! Be yourself and if a guy really loves you, he would not want you to change.
Basic trust is important in a relationship, but don’t trust too much! Always maintain a balance. Whenever you overdo certain things in a relationship, it boomerangs. When you trust too much, it always backfires. I am not saying you should keep tabs on your man but you should be aware of what he is up to.
Don’t ever be in a relationship with a guy who does not respect women or the individuality of a woman. Today, most women are career oriented and they have a command over life and I don’t think you should give that up. I think women are the most special beings on earth because they multitask and your man should love you for the individual you are.

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