In an exclusive tete-a-tete, Abhinav Shukla spoke about his changed equation with Rubina, his journey in the Bigg Boss house and why he feels that Rahul Vaidya did not deserve to be a finalist.
Television’s dapper Abhinav Shukla may not have won the Bigg Boss 14 trophy but he definitely has won a million hearts and how!
The actor who is beaming with joy over his wife and television superstar Rubina Dilaik’s victory in the BB reality show, sat down for a conversation with Pinkvilla.
In an exclusive tete-a-tete with us, the actor spoke about his changed equation with Rubina, his journey in the BB house and why he feels that Rahul Vaidya did not deserve to be a finalist.
How does it feel to be back in the real world?
It feels good to be back to the real world. It was a great learning. And no, each day wasn’t fun in the house but it was great learning. It has taught me to face my humiliations and problems. Earlier I would walk away from uncomfortable situations, but now I stand there firm and face it all.
What was your first thing you did post eviction?
I really wanted to go amidst nature. I wanted to be amidst trees, greenery and fresh air. On the way to Kolad, I saw a buffalo calf hurt as it was hit by a truck. So I immediately got onto rescuing it and called on a few rescue operation centers. I was missing all of this, these gestures, the greenery inside the house and was so glad that I could do it all finally.
Any plans for a quick vacation?
No. As of now both Rubina and I are extremely busy with a lot of work, both at personal and professional end and we do not see any spare time for us at least till March end or April. So no going out for a vacation till April at least.
Rubina came across as a gutsy woman in the show, was that a new side of hers to you?
I have always known her to be very soft spoken and calm. I knew that she was very strongly opiniated and headstrong and never easily let’s go of her argument. But I was surprised to see Rubina get angry every now and then and also shout. She was never like that before BB. But I think that is what that house does to you. People in the house push you to do things that you never have done before.
What is that one personality or side that you discovered about yourself and Rubina in the BB house?
As I said, I was bad at handling humiliation but now I am better at it, much more stronger. As you garner more fame, become famous the more you get compliments and bricks and bats as well. But one needs to start dealing with it better. I have learnt to take trolling in my stride.
Rubina can be fierce and how! I mean I have seen her yelling like never before. So I know that she has come out stronger and fierce than before. Also, I have been told that I gave her the right advice and that I was sorted, so I think our combination is definitely strong and balanced together
As you said that you brought about stability in her life inside the BB house, what is that one quality that Rubina brought about in your life?
She has taught me to speak my mind and heart out. She taught me to be vocal about my thoughts, issues and that you can’t just keep what you feel about somebody in your head and live with it. Also, the game was all about speaking up so yes, I believe that she has made me develop a voice to my thoughts.
Do you think that as a couple you had it little easy in the house to cope up with in-house issues as compared to the participants who were present solo?
I remember Rahul Vaidya had said this that when you partner is with you in the house, its easy. But it was also him who said that if his fiancee was to come to the house, he or his fiancee would have run away from the show. So the thing is that if you have your partner in the game show, you can’t bear to see somebody pull her down or see her cry because of others. It’s ok if people target you but it’s painful to see your partner in tears because of others. To the ones who feel that it was easy for both of us in the house because we were there together, I would request them to get their loved one in the house and play the game. We will talk then.
Do you think Nikki gauged the reality post her eviction and on purpose bonded with Rubina post her re-entry in the house?!
I think what Nikki did was a natural choice. When she returned to the game after being evicted, she understood that what was being perceived inside the house was totally different from that of outside. She understood that people were liking a certain individual in the house and when she re-entered the show, she adapted according to what the truth was outside. Rubina also was her aid when Nikki returned and then Rubina did what a friend should have done. Also, I had rightly gauged Nikki because she had her loyalty towards Rubina and towards Rahul too. So I was skeptical but at the end of the day, she was playing her so-called game. I wasn’t playing any game but rather focused on showing my personality. But then I did try and caution Rubina about it but she too has her own choice, her own judgment and she is free and smart to make her own choices. And I do think that both of their bond will go on even now that the game is over. We will be in touch.
So who will you not want to be in touch with?
There are alot of people with whom I am not in touch with. I will definitely not be in touch with the ones whom I haven’t liked on the basic level itself. But I am in touch with Sara, Shardul, Nikki, Jaan, Rahul Mahajan.
Do you think sharing about your personal marital issues, a dark secret of your life for a mere task was right at Rubina’s end?
The reason that we agreed to do the show was so that we could come closer, understand each other better and have control over our otherwise petty fights. So telling people the truth, I feel was totally justified.
From being calm to giving it back to everybody who came your way, there was quite a vast change seen in you. What particular situation in the house do you think brought about this change in you?
There was not a single moment as such. It was building over time. I remember when Rahul Vaidya re-entered the house, he started picking on Rubina and her matters that weren’t even about him. He would unnecessarily interfere and create a hue and cry. That was the time when I realised that this is how the game is. I mean I understood how he has realised after watching it all from outside that if he piques a fight or argument with Rubina, he will be visible in the game. That was my trigger point and slowly people started pushing the buttons and I could no longer handle it.
Do you think Rahul Vaidya deserved enough to be in the top 2?
No! Rahul Vaidya definitely did not deserve to be in the top 2. He was the one who had quit the show midway, he was the one who left the house. But I think he went outside and saw it all, understood how his fan following were growing and that is why he re-entered the house after regaining his lost confidence. But that was wrong and unfair to the other contestants who were a part of the game show since day one and did not quit midway. They had no clue as to what was happening outside. The show is all about your mental health and it’s strength capacity.
I had also stated that if the audience wants him in the house, it’s fine; because the show is for and by the audience. But yes it was unfair towards the contestants inside the house who stuck to the game come what may.
If not Rahul, whom did you see in the second spot?
I would have seen myself there in the top two in his place. I was the one who was there since day 1 and made sure that my game changed smartly. I brought about more diversification to my personality- from shy to bold, I have myself seen my transition and unlike a lot of people who re-entered the show and created over-the-top drama, I was there doing my job without creating drama and made it till the end, almost. So I was like it’s now or never and I got to be there till the end, but then came the shocker of my eviction.
Will Rahul and your equation ever improve?
I will never be friends with him, rather will not be able to. Our area of interests are very different, our likings are very different. The things that I love- travelling, nature, solar system, etc, he pokes fun at it all. I can’t sit and chill with such a man or become a friend with him just for the sake of it. Its pointless and no need to put in efforts in mending ways with somebody who is so different from you.
Whom would you have seen as a winner had you been standing against your wife in the game on the finale stage?
I remember I had told in the show also that I have literally slogged so much and would have loved to win and felt deserving enough. Yes Rubina was better in terms of entertainment but my journey definitely was noteworthy.
Owing to the fact that Rubina enjoys massive popularity, do you think you would have reached till the end without her?
That one moment in the house that made you fall in love with Rubina all over again?
Oh Yes! I fell harder for her this time. Especially when she stood up for me like a boss when I was called a ‘Saamaan’, when we had arguments and later we would make-up for it all, I realised that unlike everybody in the house, she chose me over her own game for which she had actually come. I really felt nice to see her prioritising me over anything else.
You proposed to Rubina for marriage in the BB house. So what’s the plan?
We are planning something special for sure. Everybody will come to know about it once we are ready with the plan.
Will you guys be open for other reality shows, especially couple oriented ones?
Yes, we are open but currently we are really busy with work. After all this gets over, we would like to opt for other reality shows too.
You were the first to face both families especially after your marriage issues were out in the public. How did you deal with both families alone?
Rubina’s family was aware of our issues and brother knew it. Also both families had seen the show very keenly so they knew what was happening and did not have any loud reaction when I met them. They know we are mature to deal and sort it out.
There were times when you and Rubina felt that Salman was biased. Do you now really think that way?
You tend to constantly correct those whom you feel a certain connect and see concerned for them. So Salman was in a way helping us play our game better. I knew how much to soak in the feedback given by him. I knew he was there to guide us.
Rakhi’s mother is unwell, have you got a chance to talk to her?
I haven’t unfortunately but I am there for her. Also my wishes are for her and I know it’s a battle for Rakhi too. I understand that because my mother is a cancer survivor and I know what you go through when your loved one is in pain. But I am sure she is strong and her mother will be all better very soon.
How was your reaction when you saw Rahul and Rubina gelled up well towards the end of the show?
Honestly, I haven’t seen any episodes post my eviction. But I knew that this would happen as it’s a natural emotion and everybody has been through a lot. So I knew that something of this sort would definitely happen.
You and Rubina had said that you will take things legally with Kavita Kaushik after the mess in the BB house. Will you?
No! All of that has been sorted and we don’t intend to revisit that chapter.
What’s more on the work front?
Rubina and I are busy and she is super busy actually. I have a few things lined up and can talk only when the time is right but yes, we are absolutely unable to sneak out our ME or US time. Earlier, whenever I would see the bigwigs of different industries and see how they would manage their super busy schedule, I would be amazed at those skills. Now that I am also busy, it feels great.
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