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Hansika Motwani - Aza Fashions Magazine

Hansika Motwani

The New Bride

She was one of Indian television’s most beloved child actors. She’s the toast of Tamil and Telugu cinema. She’s a dedicated Yogi, she’s a phenomenal painter, and she’s a new bride. Aza catches up with fireball Hansika Motwani during a fun-filled Saturday afternoon cover shoot.
Photographs by Kunal Gupta; Styled by  Sukriti Grover; Styling assistance by Vani Gupta & Simran Kumar; Styling intern Mahek Gada; Makeup by Urmi Kaur; Hairstyling by Tina Mukharjee; PR Consultant Think Talkies; Creative Direction by Arthi Medithi; Words by Sreemita Bhattacharya

Weddings are always special. But celebrity weddings? They are often national/global spectacles with millions oohing and aahing at their phone screens, poring over the minutest details of these often-larger-than-life events. While some celebrities sell exclusive rights to their wedding photos to print publications (think PC-Nick, Angeline Jolie-Brad Pitt), a few choose to film their big day for television broadcast (Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Carmen Electra). Now, one would think after spending over 20 years in front of the camera, actor Hansika Motwani would relish the idea of walking down the aisle in a private ceremony. But Aza’s muse for “The New Bride” shares with us that filming her wedding for an OTT platform was “a win-win idea” because besides getting the festivities beautifully documented for posterity, she managed to garner the blessings of her fans. The rest as you know is, the Disney+ Hotstar web series, Hansika’s Love Shaadi Drama – a show that has managed to tug at the heartstrings of Indian brides-to-be across the subcontinent with its real portrayal of all the drama that transpires behind “picture perfect” wedding festivities.
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One of the best things about Sohael is that he’s a great listener. I feel that’s what makes him a brilliant life partner. I really don’t have many bad things to say about him, but I wish he would become more punctual!

Did you know that Hansika, who currently has 5.9 million followers (and counting) on Instagram, bagged her first project – a TV commercial for an automobile brand – at the age of eight! Immediately thereafter, she acted in two TV shows – Shaka Laka Boom Boom and Des Mein Niklla Hoga Chand – both of which brought her immense love and recognition. Hansika then famously appeared as one of the child actors in the Hrithik Roshan-starrer Koi... Mil Gaya and there’s been no looking back since. Continuing the spree of achievements at a young age, Hansika bagged her first Filmfare Award (for Best Female Debut – South) as a lead actor in Puri Jagannadh's Telugu film Desamuduru when she was only 15. Subsequently, she has been a constant in Tamil and Telugu cinema, sharing screen space with noted names such as Suriya, Allu Arjun, Dhanush, and more.
Hansika Motwani in Amit GT Outfit
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Designer, Amit GT; Neckpiece, Amrapali Jewels; Rings, Vivinia Designer Jewellery

Having watched multiple interviews of the actor in the name of research, I knew she abhors tardiness. So, it didn’t come as a surprise when Hansika – looking chic in a denim-on-denim co-ord set – walked into the Aza studio at 9.30 AM sharp. As if in a nod to our bridal theme, Hansika arrived with nails painted red – adding a hint of tradition to the otherwise contemporary vibe of the shoot. I was also thoroughly impressed by her no-nonsense attitude as she jumped right into the groove of things, working with the stylist to select six luxury fits for the shoot. It’s been a little over six months that she got married to entrepreneur Sohael Khaturiya in a lavish ceremony with the stunning 450-year-old Mundota Palace in Jaipur as backdrop. “Yes, it’s been six months already!” Hansika exclaims happily before adding, “It still amazes me that I share my room with my best friend. Every day is a new day and it’s beautiful. I sometimes wonder why I didn’t do this earlier because it’s really the best phase of my life.”
Hansika Motwani in Ridhi Mehra Outfit
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Designer, Ridhi Mehra;Choker, Minerali;Bangles, Curio CottageHaathphool, House of Shikha

The Proposal

Well, we are still swooning over how Sohael proposed to the actor in Paris. Hansika blushes as she reveals, “I had not seen it coming! Keeping surprises from me is difficult but Sohael pulled it off. You know as a little girl I’d often daydream about getting proposed to under the Eiffel Tower. So, I think it was the dreamiest proposal ever.” I cajole Hansika to share more about Soheal because there’s little her fans know about him. The new bride says with the fondest smile, “One of the best things about Sohael is that he’s a great listener. I feel that’s what makes him a brilliant life partner. He’s a true romantic at heart and expresses it well. I really don’t have many bad things to say about him, but I wish he would become more punctual! Besides that, he’s perfect for me in all ways that matter.”

After Hansika is done enjoying a simple South Indian breakfast of idli and medu vada with filter coffee, she beckons the HMU team to work their magic on her. It’s then that I prod her more on her no-holds-barred regal destination wedding in Rajasthan. “I always wanted a traditional, very Indian wedding – that was my priority. But I also dreamt of a white ceremony. Eventually, we incorporated both – we did a white-themed Derby event for the mehendi and our pheras were red. So, while the former was designed to look dreamy, the marriage ceremony had a regal vibe to it. I think I’ve been lucky with how well things panned out.”
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The concept for Hansika’s Love Shaadi Drama came to me just two months before my wedding. It was a win-win idea because I got so much love and blessings from my fans and one of the biggest events in my life got documented beautifully for posterity.

The Wedding Drama

In a surprise move that delighted her fans, the actor announced in January that she will stream her wedding video as a web series on an OTT platform. She confides in Aza, “The concept for Hansika’s Love Shaadi Drama came to me just two months before my wedding. Now, I had this thing in my heart that the next time I take a big step in life, I’d let my fans and the media know about it. I just wanted to be out there and embrace all the love that came my way. Disney+ Hotstar was generous enough to capture every little aspect of that phase in an organic manner. It was a win-win idea because I got so much love and blessings from my fans and one of the biggest events in my life got documented beautifully for posterity.”
Hansika Motwani in Amit Aggarwal Outfit
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Designer, Amit Aggarwal;Earrings, Joolry;Rings, MozaatiBangles, ANAQA by Nishant Tulsiani

But did filming the series ever seem like an added pressure amid the festivities, I ask her. Most Indian brides-to-be felt it when Hansika mentioned in one of the episodes that 19 days before wedding, she was like “a volcano of emotions”. It could not have been easy. Hansika calmly explains, “You know, technically, I had the cameras filming me even when I was tying the knot. (Chuckles) But the team was truly kind. They acknowledged and respected the fact that I really was like a volcano of emotions. At no point did they intrude in my personal space. They let me be me. They were like a fly on the wall. Honestly, so much was happening all around that I knew I was under pressure but couldn’t for the life of me pinpoint what was adding to my worries!” She softly laughs before adding, “Now that I’m recalling that time and the hurdles we faced, it seems manageable. But I’m calmer now than I was at that point when a thousand things were battling for my attention.”
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I’ve addressed everything that has happened so far in my 30 years of being, including all aspects of my 20-year career. The idea behind Hansika’s Love Shaadi Drama was to share exactly what transpired behind the scenes of my wedding. The reality show required me to be real and there wasn’t any hesitation from my side.

So, how did she draw the line between sharing too much and just enough, in the post-production stage of the show? Hansika is quick to reply, “I never even had the inclination to hide or leave out something in post-production. I mean I’ve addressed everything that has happened so far in my 30 years of being, including all aspects of my 20-year career. The idea behind Hansika’s Love Shaadi Drama was to share exactly what transpired behind the scenes of my wedding. There was no point when I said, ‘Okay guys, enough. Ab yeh nahi dikha sakte.’ It’s a reality show on me. It required me to be real and there wasn’t any hesitation from my side on being real.”
Hansika Motwani in Seema Gujral Outfit
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Designer, Seema Gujral;Neckpiece, Yuvaan Jewels by Jiya;Maangtika, Mortantra Jewellery;Rings, Vivinia Designer Jewellery

Having spent two decades in front of the camera, Hansika is quick to accommodate the photographer’s directions for the shots. While checking out her shots between look changes, the easy-going actor playfully echoes what the talents have been telling her, “Wow! Fab I’m looking. Too good!” Even though she’s at work, Hansika is a happy-spirited young girl who only half-jokingly pleads, “Chalo, let’s wrap up soon, guys. It’s a Saturday!” We concur.
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I listen to the scripts like an audience would receive a story. For me, my hero, heroine, and my everything is the script. If I’m not bored during the narration, I agree to do the project.

The Bridal Wardrobe

Celebrity stylists Mohit Rai and Aastha Sharma were the brains behind Hansika’s stunning wedding looks. Taking us through her bridal closet curation process, the actor says, “I had a vague idea about how the wedding wardrobe should be. Mohit and Aastha understood what I wanted and paid attention to the finest details. I mean they are pros! They knew what would look best on me. It’s just that in my brief to them I insisted that my bridal wardrobe shouldn’t be filmy. It had to be very me, real and raw. Together they brought my visions to life. For the Sufi event, I wore Abhinav Mishra. For my Derby-themed mehendi, I wore Atelier Zuhra. For the sangeet, I wore a custom-made Falguni Shane Peacock lehenga. For my haldi, I wore Picchika; the outfit was beautifully hand-painted, and it lent such a pure vibe to the function. For the haldi, sangeet and Sufi events, my entire family was wearing Picchika, Falguni Shane Peacock, and Abhinav Mishra, respectively. Sohael’s wedding wardrobe was also well curated. For the Derby event he wore Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna. For the wedding, both Sohael and I wore stunning custom-made creations by Rimple & Harpreet Narula. My wedding lehenga was the precise red that I wanted and everything I had envisioned it to be.” With that parting note and a smile, Hansika heads to her dressing room to savour a sumptuous spread of dumplings for lunch.
Hansika Motwani in Dolly J Outfit
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Designer, Dolly J;Neckpiece, TAD by Ameesha Dalmia;Bangles, Aquamarine Jewellery, Mortantra Jewellery and Minerali;Ring, Joolry

Back to Work

With the big, fat Indian wedding done right, Hansika has been back to work for a while now. The actor has a whopping eight projects in the pipeline, including a rather interesting web series titled My3 in which she plays a robot. Hansika smiles mysteriously as she elucidates, “To be honest, I signed My3 thinking ‘Oh, it’s something new, and it’s going to be easy-peasy.’ But I was so mistaken. It was one my toughest projects because I had to focus on so many things while filming the shots. Sometimes I couldn’t blink for 2-3 minutes at a stretch. I made sure to not breathe heavily and remained as still as I could be. It was quite challenging. It’s almost like a double role, so I had to rapidly switch between the characters. It was tough but exhilarating. I can’t wait for people to see me in this film.” On the same note, how does she choose her projects, I ask her. She shares her fairly simple mantra, “I listen to the scripts like an audience would receive a story. For me, my hero, heroine, and my everything is the script. If I’m not bored during the narration, I agree to do the project.”
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My3 was one my toughest projects because I had to focus on so many things while filming the shots. Sometimes I couldn’t blink for 2-3 minutes at a stretch. I made sure to not breathe heavily and remained as still as I could be. It was tough but exhilarating.

A True Yogi

We are on the tail-end of the shoot and Hansika is still a bundle of energy. It probably has to do with her being a dedicated yoga practitioner, glimpses of which we often see on her Instagram feed. She readily agrees saying, “I enjoy yoga and I think I’m pretty good at it. It relaxes me. I also play squash often, which is a great workout.” And what does she do to de-stress? The actor muses for a bit before sharing, “I’d be lying if I said I don’t stress out too much. But I do take time out to de-stress. I may go for a drive or listen to soothing music to centre my mind. I may go for an impromptu vacation with my husband, or just indulge in my art because I love painting.”
Hansika Motwani in Mishru Outfit
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Designer, Mishru;Necklace, House of Shikha;Rings, Mozaati

The Artist

While on the topic of art, few know that Hansika is a phenomenal painter and a few years ago, she had mentioned in a YouTube Home Tour video that she hopes to do an exhibition of her artwork. Do you find the time to paint now and are you still keen on doing that exhibition, I inquire. Her response is prompt. “Oh yes, I try to find time to paint because it really calms my mind. It’s a meditative and spiritual thing for me. Yes, I still wish to do an exhibition of my artworks. But I guess I’d need an adequate number of pieces to do a proper showcase. So maybe sometime in the future.”

All done with the shoot, Hansika is set to reclaim the rest of her Saturday when she waves at everyone in the studio on her way out. “I had a great experience shooting with Aza. The team was truly fun, and the outfits were phenomenal. Thank you for having me!” she signs off before warmly hugging me adieu.

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