By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: If we thought that the unearthly barbaric hours working-hours on Indian television are a thing of the past, here’s a shocker.
Film and TV actor Ruslaan Mumtaz had to shoot for his daily soap Kehta Hai Dil Jee Le Zaraa all night on Thursday until 10 am on Friday morning, and then rush for his wedding to his long-standing girlfriend, wealth manager Nirali Mehta to make it just in time for their 11 am wedding.
It’s shocking to know that the lead actor of a TV serial was not given even a day off for his wedding.
Says Ruslaan, “It’s true I was shooting all night for my serial. I then rushed from Film City to the court in Fort (Mumbai) in my shooting costum. That was the only way I could make it in time for my court wedding. Otherwise I’d have been the only bridegroom in the history of the institution of marriage to reach late for my own wedding.”
It appears inhuman to make an actor work right into the most important day of his life. But Ruslaan seemed okay with the post-wedding rush-hour. “I had a choice. My producers did offer me the day off. But since I just went through a quick court marriage on Friday with just Nirali’s parents and my parents as eyewitnesses I really didn’t see the need to disrupt the shooting schedule. As we all know the schedules for daily soaps are very tight.”
But why this rushed court marriage?
Explains the patient bridegroom, “Nirali was spending a lot of time in our home. Over the last four years she has become a part of our household. My parents take Nirali’s presence in our home as much for granted as mine. We didn’t want raised eyebrows or for Nirali’s parents feel uncomfortable with their daughter’s life style. So we quickly decided to make our relationship formal on Valentine’s Day.”
Ruslaan would be taking some days off now for a proper wedding and a honeymoon. “Nirali and I are going through proper pheras on 2 March. Then on 3 March we leave for a brief honeymoon to the Maldives before I resume shooting for my serial…Given the time constraints the Maldives is the only place I can take my wife to and come back in time. But not to worry we’ve all time in the world for many honeymoons in the coming years.”
Did Ruslaan at least invite his co-star Sangeeta Ghosh for the court wedding?
“After shooting with me the whole night Sangeeta went home to sleep, and I drove in my shooting clothes to get married,” says Ruslaan.