'I wish the headlines announcing my wedding wouldn't refer to me as 'Deepika Padukone's ex'...
Nihar Pandya, who makes his acting debut in Manikarnika, is all set to wed singer Neeti Mohan.
"After some relationships that did not work out, I am getting married to Neeti Mohan on February 14 and 15. In fact, I'm speaking to you from a pre-wedding pooja at Neeti's place," Nihar tells Subhash K Jha.
One of the relationships that did not work out was with Deepika Padukone.
"As you know, I've been in some aborted relationships. In fact, it had come to a point where I would not share my relationship status with my family because I was scared it wouldn't work out."
"Every time my mother would run to the temple with a pooja ki thali to ring auspicious bells for her son's wedding, nothing happened."
Nihar chose not to reveal his feelings for Neeti to his family until they were sure of the wedding.
"There had been so many dead ends earlier that I felt my family stopped believing I was actually in love," he says.
How Nihar met and fell in love with Neeti is traight out of a Yash Raj film.
"Yes, fully filmi it was," he says with a chuckle. "I met Neeti at a common friend (musician) Jimmy Felix's wedding. Jimmy and Neeti used to be part of the band Aasma and he kept talking about this girl he wants me to meet. But he wouldn't actually get down to introducing me to Neeti."
"I finally asked Jimmy, 'Yaar tu mileyega ya sirf baatein banayega?' He promised to introduce us at his wedding and he kept his promise."
It was love at first sight for Nihar.
"It took me no time at all to decide Neeti was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with," he says. "Luckily, she felt the same way. We decided to get married soon after we met."
"Now, as the day approaches, I am more and more convinced that this is the best thing to have happened to me."
Nihar reflects on his movie debut, Manikarnika" "My acting debut has taken its time. And it has also taken me a long time to find the woman I love. I am a late bloomer."
Meanwhile, he has good wishes for Deepika Padukone.
"She is happily married and there is no bitterness in my heart," he says. "In time, all that one remembers are the good things."
"I wish her all the best in her married life and I'm sure she wishes the same for me. I only wish the headlines announcing my wedding wouldn't refer to me as 'Deepika Padukone's ex'. I'd like to think I have an identity of my own."