MAM

Made for each other

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MUMBAI: Times have changed considerably, couples no longer share the same equation they once did. In this age and time when independence is craved for by both men and women, couples who work together open new vistas for them. Not only does working together keep them connected through out the day but also streghtens the understanding of each other as individuals.

On this Valentine Day, let's have a look at the copuples who celebrate their lives togehter; professionally and persoanlly.

Discovering love at work

He was her boss and she was just starting her career, and now after 15 years, they are a couple to reckon with. One is a proud owner of an independent advertising agency while the other with over three decades of experience is an industry veteran.

Priti Nair and KS Chakravarthy aka Chax recently celebrated their fifteenth wedding anniversary. They’ve been around for decades now and what started as a fan’s devotion for her idol turned way serious as time progressed.

“What I am today in my profession is all thanks to Chax. He taught me everything about advertising,” says Priti, who feels that if a couple are in the same industry, it becomes easier to understand each other.

Priti Nair and KS Chakravarthy, advertising professionals

“Our industry is very demanding and schedules can go haywire anytime so if the other person doesn’t understand that, it can cause issues. A couple needs to understand and respect what each person does, no matter in which field because unless there is respect for each other, a relationship will never work,” she says.

Like any other couple, Priti and Chax too went through their share of ups and downs. The seven-year itch hit them hard and they both decided to live separately to sort out issues rather than complicate things further. However, after seven years of separation, they got back together last year. Ask if there are any special plans for V-Day and Priti laughs it off saying she’s been celebrating V-Day for the last seven years with her family and so the two of them will spend it with family this year as well...

The two make it a point to spend some time with family and watch a movie or a series together every week to keep work out of the equation.

Keeping monotony out for a life-long affair

He’s Bengali and she’s Maharashatrian but Maximum City seems to have diminished the regional divide.

Pranali and Soumya Sarkar met 10 years back while working in the same media agency. They were part of the same team but their clients were different. But it didn’t matter as they dated each other for a year before tying the knot.

Working the same hours with the same set of colleagues can be a boon for many but Soumya feels it is the understanding between the couple which helps strengthen a relationship. Working in the same industry can have its pros and cons, especially when the industry is a demanding one. “One cannot ignore personal life as one can interconnect their personal and professional lives as they work in the same space,” he says, stressing one can’t take the other for granted, thinking he/she will ‘understand’.

Pranali and Soumya Sarkar, media planners

The media planners will celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary in March with a vacation abroad. A vacation every year and an outing every month is a norm for this couple which feels the busy work-home schedule leaves one with little or no time for weekly recreation. They have a daughter and firmly believe spending time outside of work is a must for every couple else life will become monotonous.

Living dreams together

21 years of teasing, fighting, mood swings, grudges... but they’re still together. We’re talking about Sumeet and Shashi Mittal, founders of Shashi Sumeet Productions aka Two’s Company.

It was love at first sight for Shashi who was but 15 years of age and in class Xth. The duo studied in the same school in Ahmedabad. Shashi proposed Sumeet and they got hitched in 1991.

Sumeet Mittal and Shashi Mittal

In 1998, they shifted base to Mumbai to foray into the entertainment industry. Sumeet, who had always wanted to become an actor, went on to launch his own production house. For Sumeet, Shashi has been his biggest support.

With V-Day almost upon us, we asked them how they find time for each other while working in this industry.

“Nowadays when you are working together for more than 18 hours a day, we don’t get quality time to spend with each other. You become more kind of co-workers rather than a couple. We have always kept our professional lives higher than our personal lives. There are differences at times,” says Sumeet. How do they keep a work-life balance? “At work, you should be a good acquaintance and at home, a good husband-wife. We have struggled to maintain that for ages,” says Sumeet. “She has been a great support throughout. She has stood by me always. I am happy and lucky to have her in my life.”

About keeping the romance alive after all these years, he says: “Now we argue also smilingly. We have learnt to deal with things now. This is our new funda to keep ourselves charged up during work,” he laughs.

This V-Day is very special for them. “We have our home in Mumbai, so this year on V-Day, it is our new home’s first anniversary. We are very excited about it. In a way we are renewing our relationship. In a way celebrating our first anniversary,” he signs off.

Mutual respect makes it easier

She is one of the few women behind a successful news channel and a TV production house while her husband is into journalism, TV production and the political scene. BAG MD and chairperson Anurradha Prasad still manages to balance her personal and professional life with hubby Rajeev Shukla. Dismissing V-Day as a marketing gimmick, Prasad says that with such a busy schedule, the quality rather than quantity of time matters. Having been in the same field, both of them understand the busy nature of their lives and refrain from cribbing about it. “It was difficult to explain to my family as to why I had odd work hours but Rajeev understood it. It’s necessary to respect each other as well as your professions,” says Prasad.

Anurradha Prasad and Rajeev Shukla, media professionals

Earlier, going out on ‘dates’ was common but now, quality time is all about spending time at home with daughter Vaanya. “We dedicate an hour or two every morning, before we leave for work, to talking about home and office affairs because once you leave home, you never know what time you will be back,” she says, adding that V-Day shouldn’t be restricted only to couples. She signs off advising those in love to keep the respect in the relationship intact and always be happy...

Love at first sight became a life-long affair

She had returned from London and got herself enrolled in Miranda House, Delhi University, where she got actively involved in theatre. He, on the other hand, was completing his Master’s at St. Stephen’s College, DU. He, who was popular for his good looks besides his wittiness, was the star of the theatre circuit organising auditions for The Serpent – a biblical play. She was driven by her close friend Mira Nair for the auditions, who thought the guy was worthy of checking out. He was already in love with her before she could check him out.

Siddhartha and Anita Kaul Basu, TV personalities

It was love at first sight for Siddhartha Basu and his wife Anita Kaul Basu. The couple, who got married in 1983 after eight years of courtship, is still as much in love as they were when they started their relationship. “The little things of life haven’t shaken the bond that we share,” says Anita while talking about her relationship with her husband, with whom she spends almost her entire day at the Big Synergy Media office.

It’s been more than 25 years that the production house was started and the couple still manages to churn out amazing stuff. While Siddhartha made a mark in the TV industry as a quiz master in the early eighties, Anita made a name in journalism. It was their diverse knowledge that became the back-bone of the production house where Siddhartha works as the Chairman and Managing Director and Anita is the Director.

The good work from Big Synergy has all been because of the understanding that the couple shares, believes Anita. “What has kept us strong is that for both of us, money, power, popularity, etc. comes much later. Our understanding is of the utmost importance and that helps us in our work also,” she says.

They both go to office together and come back together. Except a few outstation trips that keep them apart for a little while, the Basus are always together. “While I use my organizational skills, Sid uses his managerial skills to keep the company going ahead,” she says.

Sky is the limit with love around

They are almost the rulers of the television world with credit to some of the most popular and interesting drama series on the tube. Their stories touch the emotional chords of the masses.

We are talking about the owners of DJ’s Creative Unit – Tony and Deeya Singh, who set out to live their dreams together. It was the summer of 91 when the two started working together, which also started a new chapter of in their lives. The cupid struck them while they were busy meeting the work deadlines. Nobody could guess the romance that was brewing but the feeling was so strong that they got engaged within six months and married by December 91. In 1993, the couple launched their own production house and delivered hit shows like Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin, Banegi Apni Baat, Just Mohabbat, Left Right Left among many others.

Tony and Deeya Singh

As love is in the air, we asked them about their way to celebrate love amid work and the pressure to meet deadlines and if working in the same industry is a boon? “We celebrate Valentine’s Day on our shows. It keeps us bonded,” says Deeya.

Their kids also play a major role in keeping the love and affection intact. Spending quality time with kids is of more importance to the couple now. “My kids do a lot for us on this day. It’s more about family love now,” she laughs.

Her best moments are when in the middle of work, they take out time for each other. “Sometimes, eating at the road side is more fun than at the five star hotels. A quite candle light dinner on the terrace with the entire family also becomes a great moment,” she remembers.

There are quite a few pros of working in the same industry, believes Deeya as she thinks there’s always someone to back you. “There are more pros to it because in an industry like this you need a very strong support system. The vision and goals are the same. However, it’s not fun to think similar. It’s good to be a little contrary and think differently,” she concludes.

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