From the moment the conversation starts, the chemistry between actors Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover is almost palpable. “We really miss each other when we are not together,” confesses Bipasha as she tells us how she and Karan like to spend as much time as they can with each other. Looking back at their journey of love, what strikes you the most is how in sync they are as a couple, even while stating opposite viewpoints, and how they constantly endeavour to lift each other up and confess a mutual admiration of the qualities they possess. On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, Cosmo India sits down for a candid chat with Bipasha and Karan as they spill the tea on their relationship, from the challenges at the start to the fun story of their proposal, the love, the laughter, their cherished memories and more.
On how they first met
“It was at the reading of our film Alone and on set thereafter,” shares Bipasha. “I don’t think we ever had that quintessential first date. We connected from day one on set, we could talk to each other all the time, it built into a very strong friendship, a connection we could both lean on. Ours was not the normal boy-meets-girl love story, it was very dramatic.”
“The first time we went out together was with our friends Rocky (S) and Diane,” Karan tells us. “We went out to Indigo as a bunch of friends, hanging out together.”
“We were always friends first,” emphasises Bipasha. “That’s the foundation of our bond, we listen to each other, share everything, and want to spend all our time together. The people in our life find it a little lame’, she laughs, “but that’s what we essentially are, the best of friends.”
On knowing they had met ‘the one’
“ I was never one to share my innermost feelings,” says Karan. “I listen to everyone, but when it comes to my own thoughts, I never open up. With her, it just happened automatically, and when I realised I could talk to her about anything, it made my heart skip a beat. She is gorgeous of course, that goes without saying. I was feeling something I had been waiting for my whole life, and I decided that I was never going to let it go.”
For Bipasha, It took some time to acknowledge her feelings. “We had this strong bond, and there was this tremendous attraction,” she shares, “but I was in constant denial and always wanting to shut it down. There was a lot of separating and coming back together, I even decided to put an end to it at one point. When he went away, that’s when I realised I couldn’t function without him. He was the person I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. He makes me happy and I felt incomplete without him. That’s when I knew he was the one for me.”
The fireworks behind the proposal
For Bipasha, getting married was never about societal pressure, she wanted to do it for the right reasons. When the proposal did come, it caught her a tad off guard.
"It was the 31st of December 2015”, says Karan as he looks back on the day. “ We were in Koh Samui, and we were making a video of the fireworks as we wished all of our friends. Bipasha was filming, and I just started blabbering all these things, then I went down on my knees and asked her if she wanted to be with me for the rest of her life.”
“I couldn’t understand what was happening till I saw the ring pop up in my frame!” Bipasha exclaims.
“ She didn’t say anything for ten minutes, she was just crying as I waited on my knees,” Karan adds comically. “ People around us thought I was troubling her! And then suddenly, she said okay!”
And while Bipasha hid her hand and didn’t look at her ring for the next half an hour, she eventually couldn’t get enough of it.
“ She kept crying as she looked at it, telling me how happy she was”, laughs Karan. “It was the cutest thing, almost how a small child would react. The best part is that we have it all on camera.”
On rolling down a hill together
“ We have done a lot of ridiculous things, but they bring us a lot of joy,” says Bipasha, looking back at their time together at Ananda in Rishikesh. “ While we were at the spa, I told Karan I had never rolled down a mountain, so he took me to this small hill and we both went rolling down together. He was quite graceful and went absolutely straight. I, on the other hand, was all over the place, and went right into a tree! The people around us were wondering what the hell was going on, but we had an absolute blast!”
On their plans for Valentine’s Day
According to Karan, it is Bipasha who has taught him the art of celebrating occasions. “ I never celebrated anything or took photographs before I met her,” he shares. “ After meeting her, I have discovered the joy of celebration. We celebrate every small thing together, like today we’re celebrating Thursday!”
“ He’s made some beautiful surprises for me over the years,” Bipasha fondly looks back. “He writes me beautiful poetry every Valentine’s Day, with calligraphy on a scroll, and puts it in my flowers. I have framed many of them as well. Once, he festooned the whole house with flowers and balloons and surprised me. For me, Valentine’s Day is about everyone I love and my family as well. A couple of years ago, Karan wrote the women in my family and all my friends some quotes as well. We like to celebrate love with everyone we love. Then we will go out to dinner, laugh and have fun together.”
" There are so many small, everyday gestures Bipasha does for me,” Karan adds. “I just need to think of something and it is already done for me, she is amazing like that.”
On Keeping the spark alive
For both Karan and Bipasha, their friendship with each other and mutual respect is key.
“My partner should inspire me,” Bipasha affirms. “He should be somebody I respect, my go-to person. I should be able to share everything with him.”
“She knows me better than I know myself,” says Karan. “It may be a strange thing to say but it’s true, and it deepens our bond further. If somebody really knows you, knows your soul, they become a part of you.”
The one thing they love about each other
“ There is a childlike innocence about Karan,” Bipasha explains. “He loves animals and insects, interacts with them and protects them. His heart is very sensitive and I really love that, because I am a person who is all heart, and I needed someone like him. Love drives me and love drives him, our core is the same.”
For Karan, being with Bipasha takes all his worries away. “It’s almost like a superpower when you spend time with her, all the heaviness and anything negative falls away. She makes you understand the value of loving yourself. We keep each other laughing throughout the day, there is never a dull moment.”
On pet peeves
"Karan has a million things in his hands in his pockets, he likes stones, crystals, accessories and he has so many diaries—one is his gratitude journal, one is a notebook to draw in,” laughs Bipasha.”When you call Karan from one place to another, he takes 15 minutes to collect these things, even within the house, it’s like a personal production. He is also an amazing artist, but when he finishes there is paint on everything, on the couches, walls, his clothes!”
“What I love about her is also my pet peeve, she is always right about everything”, confesses Karan. “It can get quite irritating, there are times when I feel I am right and it always turns out I am not”, he laughs. “I can’t really blame her for always being right, I just have to live with it.”