Super singer Shaan and his attractive wife Radhika Mukherji (founder and CEO of Happydemic) share with us their journey from strangers to lovers to a couple and to parents…
Shaan and Radhika reveal their happy marriage secrets
Tell us something about how and when did you two meet? Shaan: We met in 1996 in a club. She had just turned 18. Radika: The DJ played the ‘Mysterious Girl’ song. Shaan was standing besides the DJ and hi-fived him. I thought he dedicated the song to me. After that, we bumped into each other many times. And I told him not to stalk me. Shaan: But we became friends and after about two-and-a-half months. we started dating. Radhika was an airhostess with Swiss Air then. I had just started out, and had recorded a remix song ‘Parda hai parda’ and had long hair. I remember her grandmother saying, ‘ Dekho kalyug aa gaya hai. Ladke lambe baal rakh rahe hai (See, how boys are growing their hair)’. Radhika had short hair then.
What attracted you both to each other? Shaan: Initially, I was apprehensive about the six-year age difference between us. I thought she would be immature. But what I liked about her was that she never did any nakhras. And I enjoyed pampering her. Radhika: I never put any pressure on him for flowers or cards or gifts. I don’t like that kind of romance. Shaan pushes me beyond my comfort zone. He gave me the combination of happiness, motivation and respect. That attracted me. You can date someone because he’s good looking, says the right things, is funny and dresses well. Eventually, these things take a backseat. What matters is love, fidelity and the respect the person gives you.
What was your first date like? Radhika: Disaster! Hahaha! In 1996, I was taken to a restaurant
and told, ‘You have a budget of ` 300. When we reached there, he opened the menu card and ordered a chicken stroganoff, which costed ` 250. I was wondering what to eat in ` 50! I paid the bill; it came to ` 500.
How did it translate into marriage? Shaan: It was a big thing for a girl from a business family to marry a guy jiska koi thikana nahi. Radhika’s parents told her, ‘If you are serious and believe in him, and think he is talented enough to make it, we are with you’. She believed in me. Radhika: He told me if we finish four years, then we will get married. We finished four years and on 16th September, 2000, he said, ‘Let’s get married’. On 21st September, we landed up in the court and got married.
How did life change after marriage? Radhika: Initially, we fought, but all that immediately stopped. I was looking for security; to proudly say that I am Mrs Radhika Shantanu Mukherji. We are truly each other’s soulmates. Adjusting with Shaan’s family was easy. Shaan: We bought a new house, and my mother accompanied us too. Radhika: Honestly, my mother-in-law is mom to me. She never asks me where I am going, what I am doing or wearing. We have a fantastic connection; I can go on a vacation with my mom-inlaw and not get bored. Shaan: My mom had a tough life in terms of raising two children without a father. She realized that Radhika can take on the responsibility of the whole house and not just me.
And after parenthood? Radhika: Soham was born on 24th June, 2002, and Shubh on 18th May, 2005. A child changes your perspective about life. When I was in labour, Shaan told me, ‘We need to remember that we will first be a couple and then parents’. Shaan: Once you become parents, the kids become priority. Then, the only connection is that you are parents. The chemistry and the love dies which shouldn’t happen. Radhika: I am a helicopter mom. I walk around them all the time, and they make helicopter sounds. My sons are inclined towards music. Soham and Shubh sang ‘Bum pe laat’ from the Ajay Devgnstarrer ‘Himmatwala’. Shubh has also sung for Yash Raj Films. Soham plays the piano beautifully and also has a sharp ear. Shaan: The older one is into electronic music, while the younger wants to sing Hindi filmi songs like me.
Your parenting mantras… Radhika: Stalk your
“When I was in labour, Shaan told me, ‘We need to remember that we will first be a couple and then parents’.” - Radhika
children, haha! Actually, we don’t have a mantra. I don’t put unnecessary pressure on the kids. Now that they are older and I have started working and using my skills, they have tremendous respect for me not only as a mom but also as a working woman. Shaan is a protective father. He takes time out for the kids from his busy schedule. Shaan: I sit with them, watch them play video games, help with their homework, and I enjoy story telling. We discuss GK, current affairs and have a great bond.
When you get angry, how does he/ she persuade you? Radhika: I give him the silent treatment, and I am a champ at it. He is logically sound. He says, ‘ Galti meri hi hogi’ (must be my fault)’. Shaan: I sing, ‘Gumsum ho kyun’, and she sends a message saying ‘I am angry’. But I still don’t know what has happened. How do you manage to spend quality time and strike the work-life balance? Shaan: Radhika has created a system in the house. We have people who take care of the kids, and they are only answerable to Radhika. I have also set up a studio at home. Radhika: Sometimes, work needs you; sometimes, your child needs you. So the scales move up and down. But one of us is always there to take care of them. Honestly, I have given a lot of myself to happydemic this year. Happydemic is a world class effort of love and passion (both online and offline) to bring live performances to your doorstep at an affordable price. It is a company started by Amar Pandit, my financial advisor and Managing Director, Happiness Factory, and me. We are live entertainment specialists and cater to all genres of music. The artistes on our platform are extremely talented – most of them are contestants, finalists and winners of reality shows. We have 600 plus artistes on board and have done more than 365 shows. Happydemic means an epidemic of happiness – a name given by Shaan.
Happy marriage mantras… Shana: I am very lucky to have her. And yes, there is no shame in admitting that your wife is right because she generally is. If you are together and yet give each other space and find common interests, then nothing like it. Radhika: Be each other’s strength and not weakness. We have been together since 21 years now. He treats me the same way he treats his mother and sister, and is the perfect father. It’s important to first be the man you are to expect a woman to be the woman she is. AISHWARYA P VAIDYA