Renuka Vyavahare (BOMBAY TIMES; July 9, 2018)

Back from their honeymoon in Seychelles, the newly-weds — acclaimed filmmaker Raj Kumar Gupta and his actress wife Myra Karn — spill the beans on their love story in an exclusive conversation with Bombay Times. Myra, who has acted in Raj’s much-acclaimed film No One Killed Jessica, uses her father’s first name (Karn) as her surname. ‘I think Myra Karn Gupta would be too complicated’ she says, smiling. Raj eased into this personal interview slowly, as he prefers to let his work do the talking. Read on...

You seem to be extremely different as individuals. While Raj comes across as shy and introverted, Myra, you are outgoing. What drew you to each other?
Raj: Well, opposites attract (smiles). I could relate to her. She is intelligent, has a great sense of humour and is simple. And not to forget, beautiful.
Myra: His simplicity was refreshing.

Myra, when you date a person who’s shy, who makes the first move?
We were friends first. He never expressed it in words, but I could feel it. Also as you grow older, you begin to understand what a person has to say without he/she saying it. There was no ‘dating’ as such. Whenever I was abroad, he would fly down to meet me and that said it all.

Since you were thick friends before you started dating, did either of you fear getting friendzoned by the other?
Myra: When you are looking at spending the rest of your lives together, you want someone you know well rather than pondering about the fear of being stuck in a friend zone. In fact, there’s a certain comfort factor. I don’t feel like I am married. I have to remind myself of that!

What made you two finally take the plunge? Did you feel that the time is right, or were you sure that you had finally found ‘The One’?
Raj: It was on my mind for a while, but I have never planned my life, and our relationship, too, was organic. The marriage was instinctive, but the journey was long-drawn.
Myra: He proposed four times. First in Florence, then New York, Berlin and finally, London. I took my time, as it’s a big decision, but I was sure that if I ever got married, it would be to him.

Myra, we heard that you are a gym enthusiast...
I love working out and doing weights. Men in the gym get insecure when they see me lifting weights.

How was your honeymoon in Seychelles?
Myra: It was my first beach holiday. I did kayaking and snorkelling. I often end up traveling to cities when abroad, so this was a good change.
Raj: Since I am not a good swimmer, I just watched the waves. I prefer quiet places, but since I have chased Myra across the globe, I too have ended up in many cities.

Raj, you have spoken about Myra giving you creative inputs sometimes. How does that work?
As a friend, I discuss ideas and scripts with her. Whenever I want a different perspective or a female perspective, I go to her.

Myra, why haven’t you done a single film after No One Killed Jessica?
I got offers from reputed filmmakers, but I didn’t feel like pursuing acting. Coming from an academic background (she is an engineer), acting wasn’t my goal. Even No One... happened by chance. Raj convinced me to do it. I never craved for money or fame. I am more comfortable behind the camera. I just produced a short film and another Bollywood film is in the making. I like to do my own thing.

Will we see you two collaborate in the future?
Raj: As a director, if she offers me a good script, I will make her film. But the script needs to have that appeal.