Suniel and Mana Shetty will be ringing in their 26th wedding anniversary (December 25) quietly at their Khandala farmhouse this year. While last year they were in London, for the couple, the icing on the cake is that they will be joined in the glad tidings by their children, Athiya and Ahan, who mean the world. While Athiya is in the process of finalizing a few films, Ahaan has been prepping for his next film produced by Sajid Nadiadwala but both will take a break from their work for the celebrations. Unlike grand filmi bashes, the Shettys wedding anniversary will be an intimate affair just between the four of them.
When asked if she and her brother are planning something special for their parents, Athiya Shetty says, “There’s nothing planned as of now. We will be just spending time with each other as a family and do things low-key. I am exactly like my dad in that way – a carbon copy of him. I am not sure what we will do this time for our parent’s anniversary but we usually go to our farmhouse in Khandala and chill with all our pet dogs and animals with lots of good food. When we are in Khandala, all four of us, we usually have a movie marathon. We get lots of movies, including Netflix shows and watch them one after the other like a TV show marathon.”
Athiya couldn’t join the couple last year when they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in London as she was shooting in Mumbai. Athiya laughs and adds, “For us, every week is a celebration as we take out time for each other. We are a close-knit family. I am thinking now what to get them as their anniversary gift. After celebrating their anniversary, I will return to Mumbai to spend time with all my cousins and friends to bring in the New Year.”
When asked how he is planning to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary, Suniel Shetty corrects me emotionally, “It’s not our 26th anniversary actually but Mana and my 35th anniversary together – 26 years of marriage with children and nine years of dating each other before that! Love grows and takes different forms now. There is no grand party but just us in our own little farm.”
Mana and he have kept their love alive even after so many years when marriages keep breaking around them. “One keeps the love alive in different ways… You start bonding over a lot of other things in life. First it’s about you and your wife, then it’s the babies that come, then it’s about the parents who are growing older so you combine to take care of them, then it’s about the children and their careers, and spending time together, then being dependent on each other… It’s beautiful and just sorts itself out when you believe in each other and give your children the freedom to do what they want to achieve. You depend on each other; you can’t think right or do anything without your partner so every stage is beautiful.”
Suniel adds that the Shettys have always been supportive of their women. “With Mana, my daughter and mom it’s been the same – dad and I have always encouraged the women what they believed they wanted to do. It’s not that we don’t have our disagreements like every normal relationship. We disagree to agree on a lot of things and we make peace immediately. With Mana and me the maximum time we disagree is an hour or two as I get very disturbed. The only thing that disturbs me is when something is not right at all. I can’t function. I am an introvert when it comes to expressing love and Mana is an extreme extrovert when it comes to love, romance and expressing oneself so it works for us.”