Mumbai, She meets her Bollywood actor-husband Shiney Ahuja once a week in jail and hasn’t seen her daughter for almost a month. Anupam Ahuja had once made a conscious decision to stay away from the limelight, but suddenly finds the spotlight on her family after her spouse was accused of rape.
“Shiney and I had made a conscious decision that I stay away from the limelight so that our child would grow up in a normal environment,” Anupam told IANS in an interview, rubbishing reports that she had separated from Shiney.
“I wanted him to go out like any jobholder and home to us in the evening. I didn’t want his fame to come home with him.”
Shiney was arrested June 14 after his teenaged domestic help accused him of raping her. A Mumbai court rejected the bail application filed by the Bollywood star who will continue to be in judicial custody till July 16. He is currently lodged in the Arthur Road jail.
But wife Anupam hasn’t lost her faith in him. She refuses to even consider her husband’s guilt, stands by him and applauds him for his strength of will in these trying times.
Asked how frequently she is able to meet him, Anupam said: “Once a week”.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: Your husband’s bail application has been rejected.
A: (Sighs) Yes, it has been rejected. Shiney and I have both surrendered to the will of god. We both know the final verdict will come from up there from god. We also have faith that we’ll come out of this stronger and closer to each other than we were ever before.
Q: Now that the fresh bail plea has been rejected what is your next plan of action?
A: Our lawyer will go again. We’ll go through the legal process and trust the judiciary completely . I will continue to walk with as much dignity as possible.
Q: Some people within the film industry seem to believe you’ve abandoned Shiney?that you don’t go to meet him in jail?
A: That’s rubbish. Complete rubbish. How can I abandon my soulmate? I’ve been with him for so many years. It happened just once. You know, he wasn’t well and wasn’t expected to go to court. That’s why I wasn’t with him that one time. The next thing I read, I had abandoned him. So ridiculous. How can I abandon him? He’s not only my husband but also my baby’s father. We’ve known each other for 15 years.
Q: Are you shocked by the scarcity of support from within the film industry?
A: No, I get a lot of SMS from the Shiney’s colleagues. Maybe they aren’t coming forward to speak visibly.
Q: What’s the point of invisible support?
A: My biggest support is god. Not a leaf moves without His permission. It was in our destiny to go through this ordeal?From the industry, Anurag Basu, Sudhir Mishra, producers Tito-Tony, Jahnu Baruah, Kunal Shivdasani, Pritish Nandy, Ketan Mehta and Soha Ali Khan have been supportive. I don’t know that many film people. I never went out to befriend them. Shiney and I had made a conscious decision that I stay away from the limelight so that our child would grow up in a normal environment. I wanted him to go out like any jobholder and home to us in the evening. I didn’t want his fame to come home with him.
Q: You’ve coped well with much dignity?
A: My strength comes from god and my love for my husband.
Q: How is your little baby coping?
A: I haven’t seen her since June 14. She is in Delhi with her nana-nani (maternal grandparents). I don’t want her to get any of the negative vibrations around me.
Q: Doesn’t it all seem unreal to you?
A: It’s bizarre…illogical. It is suicidal. Nobody would do such a thing. You’re right in your observation. But I can’t say anything right now. Everything is sub judice. I don’t want to hurt his case in any way. But this is not the Shiney I spent 15 years with. This is someone else they’re talking about.
Q: Do you still love him?
A: I love my husband. I love him more than ever. I derive strength from him. When I met him (in prison), he was emotional but he made me strong for both of us. Shiney and I talk to each other by talking to god.
Q: How frequently are you able to meet him?
A: Once a week.
Q: How is he coping?
A: At first he was unable to comprehend what was happening to him, and that’s quite understandable. But with Sai Baba’s strength he has come to terms with his predicament. He’s coping better.
Q: Can you give him home made food?
A: No, it isn’t allowed.
Q: Where are you staying in Mumbai, now that your house has been sealed?
A: No our home is not sealed anymore. I don’t stay there permanently. But I go there. I’m dividing my time between our home and temples. I also stay at Ashok bhaiyya’s (director Ashok Pundit) home.
Q: Shiney is very lucky to have a wife like you.
A: I’m lucky to have a husband like him. Seeing how he’s coping with the crisis in our life, I’m prouder of him than ever before.
Q: Do you hope to have a normal life again?
A: Oh we will. We will. We’ve walked together for 15 years and will continue to do so. We’ve just encountered some bump in the road.