It was rumoured for a very long time that actress and popular TV vamp Kamiya Punjabi was dating an actor. Turns out it was character artiste Nimay Bali, who was last seen as Daddaji in the recently concluded Ghar Ki Laxmi Betiyaan.
Bali recently admitted to the affair with Punjabi after appearing on Ghar Ghar Mein, a family game show on Zee TV. He went on to reveal that the affair carried on during his marriage to actress Sahila Chaddha, with whom he has a daughter.
Bali says, “It was known to everyone in the industry. I wish Kamiya well today. Her life has taken a new route. But we were seeing each other for a long time. Blame it on the busy work schedules or the fact that most of us spend time working with others instead of spending time with our respective spouses. Attraction is something you have no control over. At times, you do look outside for other reasons too. In my case, it was my proximity with the actress at work and socially that sparked our relationship,” says Bali.
Sahila Chaddha, the actor’s wife and who has been a character artiste in the films for over a decade, poured her heart out on the sets. The hosts, Vipul and Manish, consoled her while she was chronicling the details of her husband’s illicit relationship on the show and the kind of havoc the ‘doosri aurat’ wrecked in their lives.
For Chaddha, the moment she caught her husband with Punjabi, was the moment she decided to call her marriage off.
“I was feeling like this distraught wife at that time who was trying to give our daughter a normal upbringing away from her father’s then flamboyant personality. I remember it was a stormy monsoon night when I caught them together. It was raining and I stepped outside the house, asked Nimay to choose between the other woman, and my daughter and me. It took him nine hours but he decided to come back. Till then, we stood in the rain getting soaked,” rues the teary-eyed Chaddha.
When asked if the couple has moved on from the stormy night’s incident, Bali insists they have and credits his wife’s efforts.
“It’s the same woman you live with but your perceptions about her change. I didn’t know Sahila was so strong to forgive me and move on. Today we’re happily bringing our daughter up. It wouldn’t have happened had Sahila become weak like me. She didn’t let me fall apart either. I still have that guilt, though I did away with some of it when I decided to stay with my wife and daughter. I have tremendous respect for her today,” adds Bali.
Any lessons learnt? Bali says, “Never look outside of your relationship. Chaar din ki chandni hoti hai. It doesn’t take you anywhere. The only relationship that stays with you is the one that doesn’t break, despite hardships. Ninety-nine percent of the artistes in the industry have had extra marital affairs. Few admit and fewer learn never to make the mistake again.”