My life is very much different from what one sees of my character Popatlal on Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah. I am happily married and father of two. My elder daughter Niyati is five and my son Parth is one-and-a-half-years-old and there is this interesting fact about my children. My children can speak in five languages which include Hindi, English, Marathi, Gujarati and Malayalam. It’s an interesting story about how they being Gujaratis know Malayalam.

I come from a very simple middle-class Gujarati family and my mother wanted me to become a CA. So, I worked hard and became one but that wasn’t something I wanted to do. I wanted to be an actor so without informing anyone at home I joined the National School of Drama (NSD). There I met a South Indian girl who was my classmate but it did not take us long to become friends, best friends, then a couple and then we got married.

When I joined NSD I took up acting as my specialized course but Reshami specialized in designing and direction. We became friends in the first year at NSD, in the second year we started seeing each other and in the third year, we wanted to get married. I still remember everything so clearly it was May 25, 2003 when our final semester got over and on June 1 we got married in the Arya Samaj Mandir.

We actually couldn’t invite anyone from our families because I just have my sister and my mother in my family and my mother was in a critical condition at that time while my sister was in Dubai. Reshami’s family wasn’t in favour of our marriage so we couldn’t invite them but we had a lot other people in our wedding. The entire school staff and our batch mates were present. And, the funniest part to this is that we ourselves were doing all the arrangements for our wedding. I was running for flowers, sweets and other things. Even before our wedding day while we were doing wedding preparations we had lot of other things to do. There were workshops going on in the school and we were supposed to be helping in there too. So we would help during the day and when we would get some time we’d work on our wedding plan.

Our reception too happened in a unique style in the campus of our school. It was for the first time in the history of NSD that some student’s reception was held in the campus itself. My marriage came as a big shock to everyone in my family; they weren’t very happy with my acting too. But, all is well now as my family is happy to see me on TV and Reshami is very understanding and caring. Her family too has accepted me now.

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