John Abraham and Bipasha Basu deconstruct the fire and the ice in their long standing relationship. Filmfare gets to the heart of the matter
You’ve been together for eight years now. How has it been?
Bipasha: (Smiles) It’s been normal, like any other relationship. Ups, downs, good, bad, fun, exciting, irritating, everything. We’ve grown up together. What I cherish most is watching John grow as an actor. I’ve seen his success, I’ve seen his popularity. That makes me proud. He’s lucky but he’s also worked hard for it. I get upset when people say nasty things about him. I know him, he means no harm to anyone. He just wants to do his work.
Tell us something we don’t know about John.
Bipasha: (Smiles) As soon as he’s finished eating, his mouth opens and his eyes shut. And when you say ‘John you’re sleeping…’ He’s like ‘No no I’m not sleeping.’ He sleeps through 90 per cent of the films we watch together. And when we come out of the theatre and people ask me how the film was, he goes ‘Superb, brilliant. You must see it.
John: (Laughs) You must see me on flights. I sleep with my mouth open and when I wake up, I find airhostesses giggling at me.
Bipasha: Once we were on a flight. Both of us were sleeping. I woke up to go to the washroom and there were people clicking his photographs.
Okay tell us something we don’t know about Bipasha.
John: She’s obsessed with fitness. You’ve got to see her when she’s working out. You can’t mess with her then. Another thing people don’t know is that despite the way she looks, she eats really well. She doesn’t count calories. She loves mithai. Yesterday she was chomping on this huge piece of chocolate. Also, her attention to detail is something else. When she was doing up her house, every little aspect from the cushion, to the flooring to that nail on the wall, every decision was taken by her without any help. She’s very clear about what she wants.
After so many years, is there a fear of taking each other for granted?
John: I do take her for granted a lot. But I see that and I try to rectify it. That’s not fair on her. Bipasha is very selfless. She’s done a lot for me. And the last thing one should do is take his woman for granted. You know, as much as we men say we believe in women’s liberation, we are chauvinistic.
So in the last eight years, have you ever wanted out?
John: There were times when she wanted out and there were times when I wanted out.
So when you want out, how do you decide you have to stay?
John: When you’re with a person for so long, there’s love, there’s respect, there’s responsibility.
Bipasha: There’s attachment.
John: There’s a lot which is going for the relationship. You don’t want to just give it up.
But when you read things in the media, it must be irritating?
Bipasha: He’s linked with every actress. He has some taste, ya. Look at me and think about his tastes. I’m like ‘why only you get linked with all these actresses.’
John: (Laughs) But these days I’m getting linked to all the actors too.
How do your respective families view your live in relationships? You think the society is more accepting towards it today?
Bipasha: His family is like my family. And my family treats him like a son. Our intentions aren’t shallow and my parents know that. As for society, it really doesn’t matter
John: You know people really respect Bipasha. In today’s time when frivolity is the order of the day, she’s really conducted herself with dignity. She’s like a lighthouse in a storm.
Bipasha: That goes for both of us. We’ve conducted our relationship with a lot of dignity. People love us together for the way we are.
John: You won’t read about us going on a holiday together or going to the toilet together. There’s a sense of exhaustion when you constantly read about a couple. That doesn’t happen with us.
Finally, what about wedding bells? Do you feel like a married couple already hence there is no need for a marriage?
Bipasha: Yes I feel we are a married couple without being married. I feel like I’m his wife but yet he’s not my husband
John: I don’t know what a marriage is all about to comment.
Bipasha: Even I don’t know what a marriage is. I feel like a normal wife because I’ve seen my married friends.
John: I guess we’ll cross the bridge when we come to it. We’re comfortable in our current state