“The chemistry needs to stay”

Admitting that we live in tempting times, the charming SHAAN tells NICHOLA PAIS that marriage is a bond which also binds you…

What has your stint as coach-judge on ‘The Voice India Kids’ been like so far?
It’s fun, it’s nice. The kids are doing really well. They are improving with every performance. Here the format is such that more than judging you have to prepare them and then also judge them. There’s more involvement as you get connected with each of them and then you also have to eliminate them, so it gets very emotional. The level of talent is absolutely fabulous, not just in my team but in all the teams. Generally when you reach the last six or seven contestants, you start losing out on great talent. But here it’s been very heart-breaking that, right from the blinds, we missed out on some fantastic choices. You have to maintain a certain number in your team and towards the end you have to let go off some fantastic voices because you have no room. Once you have hit the buzzer, you are  kind of committed to that  contestant. You can’t go back from there and change your mind.

Kind of like marriage… Once you have decided there is basically no going back!
That’s true; you can’t turn around! Even though Radhika and I were seeing each other for four years and it was all fantastic, yet that point when you are committing for life… was very honestly it felt like I was jumping into the deep sea! To move in together, live together, it was all kind of scary. But the things I had been afraid of–Radhika is from a protective, big business family and when we married we just had a little house–but she seemed to be all prepared to work it out. In my head, I was thinking she’s just crazy about wanting to get married; does she even know what she is doing! But the way she took complete control and care of everything, not just of me but my whole family, my mother and everyone, that I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Other than my creative process of singing, be it my finances or  any other aspect, she takes care of everything. And we are friends first, so that’s the nicest thing.

Perhaps a longer courtship does help…
All the fights and all of that we finished in those first four years of dating! We ironed it all out. Actually, my little philosophy is that generally you have kids and then you become parents more than husband-wife but I felt that the chemistry needs to stay. We do our  dinners, our quiet getaways for a couple of days sometimes, where we connect with just the two of us.

The institution of marriage is not without its cons. Which would you single out?
Today with the world at where it is, with confidence, and so many options and choices and things you want to do, obviously that sense of freedom, that sense of wanting to decide and choose for yourself, is very tempting. After all, you live once, you want to live it up and do it all. So in that sense, definitely marriage is a bond and it’s also binding you. In today’s times people want so much from their lives, from their times. And generally they are not willing to give that much, you know. Two people in a marriage are never going to have the exact fit; there will be a few things that you have to compromise on… and you would expect that from your spouse also. But I think today the newer generation doesn’t want to do that. Girls today, their thoughts are so much more independent. And the boys somewhere want to have it like their dads had it. They still expect that the girl should be the good wife, the bahu, all those various roles. Whereas the girls are like, ‘Enough of that, man!’ It will take time for the boys’ mind-set to change; somewhere the male ego is still coming in the way.

Does music play a part in your relationship with Radhika?
Over the years Radhika has also got more musically inclined. I’ve started composing now so sometimes I hum some tune and we discuss it and take it further. But it’s not like I serenade her! Yeah, maybe I finished that also during our courtship! I used my trump card when I needed it! Sixteen years of marriage and now she’s like, ‘Just bring in the cheques’!