Talking about the criticism she has faced for marrying a man of her choice, she says, “If I had married a wealthy man, I’d have been labelled a gold-digger, and if I married someone like SRK, they would have said usne kaisi ladki se shaadi kar lee.I have understood that people speaking negatively about my marriage are often experiencing issues in their relationships. These individuals wouldn’t appreciate it if someone invaded their personal space, yet are happily doing it to others. Who I choose to be with is my decision, and trolls have no say in it. What matters to me is my partner’s support and loyalty, nothing else. Looks and money don’t define a happy marriage. Ironically, those who comment on my husband’s looks are often the ones against racism and advocating for feminism.”
She adds, “I never dated anyone from the industry. I always aspired to be independent and not ask my husband for money to buy my cosmetics. I have stopped reacting because I know these trolls have nothing better to do. Like SRK, I will also say, ‘Jahaan par main pohochi hoon iss janam mein toh tum log pohoch hi nahi sakte’. So, be happy being on Twitter. Many people I know commented on how I got married to an ordinary guy. Quite strangely, some of them are divorced. Should I genuinely consider their advice?”
Rati Pandey on a rumour she heard about herself: I am married and have kids
She credits Shanawaz for helping her remain unflustered by trolling. She says, “He doesn’t pay heed to the online negativity. He has made me stronger by telling me that these trolls don’t define us and that I shouldn’t give their negative comments undue importance. Even highly accomplished people are subjected to negative comments, so who am I to complain? Trolls will attempt to bring you down to their level.”
Devoleena and her husband Shanawaz Shaikh celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi
On the work front, Devoleena is back to daily soaps after a year with Dil Diyaan Gallaan. Ask her if she consciously chose this show to break away from the ‘Gopi bahu’ image, and she replies, “Why do I have to break free from the image that has made me what I am today? I took up this show because I liked the story. It’s not a typical young love tale and goes beyond mere romance or family drama. A television protagonist is usually confined to being docile or strong. As Disha, I am exploring various facets of a woman and a mother.”
A mother on screen and what about off-screen? “If I hadn’t taken up this show, I would have considered planning for a baby by December. I have been after my husband to start a family (laughs!). However, for now, the plan is on hold,” she concludes.
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