A Bollywood Rishta!

Millions of women around the world go to bed every night dreaming that the handsome actor from their favourite daytime TV show or movie will come find them one day and sweep them off their feet. For most of those millions, their dream remains just that, a figment of their lustful imagination.

Sherryl Wiltshire just happens to be one of those rare and lucky few, who despite never imagining, is now living the dream. She is engaged to one of the biggest heartthrobs in Indian Television, actor Kavi Shastri from Sony TV’s hit show, Rishta.com. The beautiful Australian-Indian beauty from Brisbane who has a striking resemblance to Aishwariya Rai Bachchan, tells G’day India the story of how she met her Prince Charming and all about their upcoming Bollywood nuptials.

G’day: How did you actually come to meet Kavi?

S: We actually met through mutual friends. He’s obviously a media figure and I have a lot of friends who are also involved in the same business. We met in Bombay and got along very well. So we became friends. After a while, Kavi asked me out and I accepted, so we began dating from there. I actually didn’t know what he was doing or who he was in that sense when I first met him, so to me it was just like meeting a really nice guy.

G’day: When did you know that Kavi was more than just a friend to you?

S: I think when my dad was ill a little while back. During that time Kavi was always there for me, he was one of my biggest supports. He stood by me unconditionally and he was very kind and compassionate to my needs at such a time, which I really appreciated. It made me see him in a different light.

G’day: When you did eventually discover his background, did the fact that Kavi was from the ‘Bollywood’ industry fascinate or excite you at all?

S: Actually it didn’t! Like I said, at first, I never even knew what he was doing or involved in, so I never went into the friendship or relationship with that mindset. I didn’t even have Zee TV or Sony TV, so I didn’t even watch the show! I also grew up with lots of friends in the media and my dad’s friends being involved in that field so I think it didn’t really phase me. Kavi is one the most grounded and down-to-earth people I have ever met and he never allows you to feel anything other than the fact that he is just a sweet, genuine guy. He’s not at all airy and I know him so well as a person now. I know he will protect me and care for me and that is the most important thing.

G’day: Kavi Shastri is seen to be quite the daytime soap opera hunk. How do you deal with the fact that thousands of women across the globe are madly in love with your future husband?

S: Oh I think it’s so cute! I don’t get jealous at all. In fact, his fans are really great. Many of them have even tried to add me on Facebook! I am very well protected by Kavi and he treats me like a Princess, so I have no reason to be insecure.

G’day: Now that you are all set to become an Industry wife, how do you deal with the pressure to conform to the glamour industry and do you feel at all inclined to become a part of it?

S: I have never felt any pressure to conform or to become a part of the industry. Kavi has always told me I am free to do exactly as I wish to. He is a person who likes to keep his personal life private and therefore, he has never pushed me to go into the industry or to be a ‘Bollywood’ wife. I have done some shoots with Seventeen Magazine and such in the past before I met Kavi and I am getting some offers. But I’m a shy person and I don’t know if being in front of a motion camera is really for me!

G’day: How have both the families of Kavi and yourself received the news of your engagement?

S: They are both very excited and very happy. Kavi’s mum treats me as her daughter and my parents see Kavi as their son. My dad isn’t really into watching TV or movies, so to him Kavi is not Kavi Shastri from Love Aaj Kaal or Rishta.com. He is just a nice guy who makes his daughter happy. My mum loves Kavi too, she thinks he’s adorable and she’s always watching his show and reminding me to as well!

G’day: Obviously due to his work, Kavi stays in India and you live up in Queensland. How difficult is it to manage a long-distance relationship?

S: I always thought I wouldn’t be strong enough to maintain a long distance relationship. In fact, I was initially reluctant to give things a go with Kavi because of that reason. But he kept on trying to ask me out for about 6-7 months and today I am so lucky he persisted, because otherwise I wouldn’t be with someone I love so much. At times it can be overwhelming but we keep in touch via Blackberry and we try to talk to each other as much as we can. If you truly want it to, you can make it work.

G’day: So how hard has it been planning not one but two weddings on such a large scale from such a distance?

S: We’re going to be having to weddings, a traditional white wedding because my family is Christian and then a Hindu ceremony. I think the real planning hasn’t actually started just yet and will probably start happening when I get to India a few months from now. Our venues are booked and we do have a few wedding planner friends, so it seems okay for now. Also Kavi has told me we’re going to do everything together and not to stress, so I’m feeling quite all right at the moment.

G’day: Will you be moving to India after your wedding next year?

S: I do think that I may have to move to India, certainly for the near future. But it’s not a sacrifice. Bombay is my home and I did grow up there. I love Australia with all my heart and it is also my home, but I will move where I have to be with whom I love.

By Rahat Kapur