Television actor Apurva Agnihotri is yet to become a father in real life, but the actor has already had a brush with the ordeals of pregnancy when for a reality show he donned an empathy belly to experience what a nine-month pregnant woman goes through.
As part of the new show Pati Patni Aur Woh, Apurva and his wife Shilpa Sakhalani, along with four other celebrity couples, are required to go through various stages of parenthood.
In the first few days of shooting, the female participants had to don an empathy belly, but since Shilpa couldn't do it because of her back problem, Apurva had no option but to pitch in and he doesn't have too many good memories of it.
"Initially I thought it would be a walk in the park. But within half an hour my back was aching, my head was spinning, I was giddy, I couldn't walk and neither could I lie down," Apurva said, while sitting in his colourful and well-maintained villa, hired especially for the show.
"I was hoping it would be removed off my chest in a while because I am a man and because I wore it only due to Shilpa's back problem. But I had to wear it for around one and a half days. It was traumatic, but then I managed somehow. The belly was really heavy, around 15 kgs. And the last thing you can do with it is sleep. You actually feel that someone is sitting on your tummy and shivering and you just want the person off you. It was bad," he quipped.
Apurva, who is best remembered for playing the bad boy in Subhash Ghai's Pardes as well as for essaying the role of Armaan Suri in popular TV show Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, is otherwise quite happy to receive "free training" on the show and so is his wife.
"We have learnt a lot in the infant stage. From A-Z, we are completely trained (as parents) now. I can be a nurse or a nanny now and can give tips to my friends. It's perfect guidance and free training for us," said Shilpa.
Asked why they decided to take up a show like this, Shilpa said: "The incentive was the novelty of the concept. It's a never heard or seen before concept in India. It was also a break for us from singing and dancing shows, from repetitive, scripted dramas that looked fake, seemed fake and made us feel fake. Thankfully the concept was different, that's what brought us in."
Even after getting twin kids for the infant stage of the show, the two actors are not complaining and are rather happy with their decision to participate.
"Parenting skills is one aspect of each other we didn't know. Now that we are in this set up, we have seen how well both of us will react in such a situation. The bond between us has been strengthened more and that's one plus point of the show till now. And we hope to start a family soon after the show," said Apurva.
Pati Patni Aur Woh also has Rakhi Sawant-Elesh Parujanwala, Juhi Parmar-Sachin Shroff, Mouni Roy-Gaurav Chopra and Gurmeet Chaudhary-Debina Bonnerjee as participants.