Team MissMalini met with Karishma Tanna and Upen Patel recently. The couple is hosting MTV‘s new TV show Love School and who better than them to be the love gurus? We’ve only seen this couple grow ever since they declared their love for each other on Bigg Boss 8. We got a chance to chat with them and they gave us the most candid interview as they talked about their relationship, marriage plans and so much more.
How did you end up doing this show?
Upen: MTV came to us with this concept. It connected with us. It’s about love and it was aimed at the youth. And there are so many issues we’ve had in our past relationships but we had no one to guide us, so now we’re helping other couples. Now, it’s been over a year and we’re engaged – we’ve come to such a full circle.
Over the years, what is the biggest lesson you guys have learnt in love?
Upen: Communication is the key.
Karishma: And balance. A lot of people today just believe in breaking up and not sorting the issue.
Upen: A lot of times people have issues with the other person. They don’t look at themselves – “you’re wrong, you don’t listen, you don’t do this.” Karishma and I just held up a mirror for these couples. They have some issues from their past or family issues that they’re taking out on their relationship.
Between the two of you, who is a better Love School teacher?
Upen: I’m a bit stricter teacher. I think I need to be a bit more strict with them and play the “big brother” role.
Karishma: Yeah, he’s stricter and I’m softer.
Which was the most common problem in a relationship during the show?
Upen: We had our own Love School language.
Karishma: Yeah, the most common problem we saw was of trust. People were not trusting each other and communicating.
Upen: You have four pillars – love, trust, respect and communication. These are the four main issues.
Karishma, when was the first time you realised that ‘I love this guy!’?
Karishma: I think immediately after Bigg Boss. Because in BB, there was so much turmoil and chaos going on. But here’s this one guy who has given me immense love, immense attention, which generally a girl really needs. When I came out, the way Upen was taking care of me – gradually I started falling in love with him.
When was the time you realised that you loved her, Upen?
Karishma: In Bigg Boss (laughs).
Upen: I wasn’t sure because of the environment. She was the only person I was close to. It’s when I came out, the first time, that’s when I realised that something’s missing in my life. When I woke up, I would see her every morning. She was always there making my kaccha porridge. So, when I came back in, I just came to get the girl.
So you guys got engaged on Nach Baliye. When are you planning to get married?
Upen: We’ve got lots of commitments, you know. I’ve got my films, she’s got her film releasing, Tina & Lolo. The MTV Love School happened, so it’s been so hectic. So as soon as we know.
Karishma: Yes, when we know, the world will know.
Was there any kind of anxiety when you decided to propose to her?
Upen: No, I was trying to co-ordinate with her mother, get my family in London on Skype. I was just trying to organise everything. It becomes stressful really, you can’t really enjoy the moment. I had to make sure the cake came in, but it was perfect.
Karishma: But there was no anxiety?
Upen: No, it was exciting. I wasn’t anxious, I was prepared.
Were you caught off guard, Karishma?
Karishma: Yes! Because I didn’t know anything, you know. And I thought when he took the mic, I thought he wanted to complain about something. I thought, ‘Okay, some complaint and we’re in trouble.’ And then suddenly he asked me to close my eyes and then I open them and see the audience holding placards saying, ‘Will you marry me?’
What are the love lessons you use in your life?
Upen: I live by these rules – the rules that Karishma and I have created for Love School. Honesty is the most important and if those four pillars are not right, then you’ll just stumble.
Which one of you gets angry the fastest?
Karishma: *points to him*
(Note: They’re never coming to a conclusion! :P)
When you guys have issues, do you talk to your friends about it?
Upen: When you start involving third parties, then it becomes their relationship and their problems.
Karishma: Yeah, so whatever problems we face, we tell each other.
What’s the longest you guys have gone without talking to each other during a fight?
Karishma: 2 – 2 and a half days.
And then who made up?
Upen: I did!
Karishma: Please! Sometimes I do, sometimes he.
Upen: You NEVER!
Karishma: Such a liar.
What is the one thing in your relationship that you probably never had during your earlier relationships?
Upen: The connection.
Karishma: The compatibility. And the way he has actually been a part of my family. It has never happened to me before. The way he takes care of my mother and the way they bond is more than I bond with my mother.
When did you guys realise you wanted to pursue acting?
Upen: I did from a very young age. I used to enjoy impersonating people.
Karishma: Me too, from school and college. I used to talk in front of the mirror and all that. By 17 I started working and I knew I wanted to get into acting.
How did you land your first acting role?
Karishma: Mine was Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. I had given my pictures to Balaji, they called me for an audition. My audition was really bad but Ekta (Kapoor) doesn’t see auditions and acting and all. She sees the person and how she can fit the person in. She has a strong vision. I got a call from her assistant calling me for Kyunki audition and I was very nervous. In the next five hours, I was on!
Upen: Mine was a bit more strange. I was a model for about 5 – 6 years. Then I got a call from Subhash Ghai and he called me to his office, he had this file with lots and lots of pictures. He said, “I want to introduce you, I want to launch you.” And I was like, “How much?” That time I was only seeing the money. These three men walk in, in white – Abbas and Mastaan. I had no idea who they were. I went back a week later and said yes to the film. Two days later, I was in Bankok shooting for China Town.
What’s your “couple thing”?
Karishma: If he goes with his friends, I’m like ‘NO! This is my space!’
Upen: I let her go with her friends. But if I go with my friends… oh my God!
Which was the last movie you guys watched?
Finally, what’s on your plate now?
Upen: Love School is the main meal. In January, I have a south film starting and then lots of appearances and shows. Hopefully, season 2 of Love School.
Karishma: I have this film called Tina & Lolo which is going to release next year – that’s what I have been told. And then events and appearances.