Niharika Singh on Nawazuddin’s account of their affair: He just wants to sell his book
Miss Lovely actor Niharika Singh says that to publicise his book, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is “willing to exploit and disrespect a woman”, portraying a brief relationship as a full-on seduction attempt.Updated: Oct 24, 2017 15:47 IST
Nawazuddin Siddiqui has opened up about his affair with his Miss Lovely co-star Niharika Singh, in his biography An Ordinary Life: A Memoir. The content has created quite a stir among everyone.
In the book, Nawazuddin has spoken of how he and Niharika were in love with each other and also reveals details of their break-up. He has written how, during their affair, Niharika once found out about his girlfriend ‘Suzanne: a lovely, dear Jewish girl from New Jersey, who lived in New York City’, whom he wanted to marry once. According to Nawazuddin, Niharika said that he could not have two relationships at the same time, and even wrote Suzanne a mail from his account to end that relationship.
Reacting to what the book says, Niharika has finally decided to tell her side of the story. When we got in touch with her she gave her statement in a message to us, which reads: “Nawaz and I had a brief relationship during the making of Miss Lovely that lasted less than a few months. So today when he paints me as a woman in fur enticing him into her bedroom with candles, or desperately calling him and mailing other women on his behalf, I can only laugh. He obviously wants to sell his book and it would appear that he is willing to exploit and disrespect a woman just to do so. He has chosen to fabricate stories and manipulate a fleeting relationship. None of what he has written has been with my knowledge, let alone my consent. It is this very aspect of Nawaz that caused me to end my relationship with him in the first place. I have always maintained that he’s a brilliant actor. However, I had hoped these acting skills would remain confined only to the screen. Still, I wish him well.”
Here is an excerpt from Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s book:
Before that came Suzanne: a lovely, dear Jewish girl from New Jersey, who lived in New York City. We met there and hit it off. She came to Mumbai and began to live with me. By then, Shamas and I had moved to Yari Road. Every few months, she kept extending her visa. It was a very sweet relationship. She was so lovely that the idea of marriage had begun to cross my mind, first in fleeting thoughts, and then slowly they turned into a decision. At the very last minute when I was about to propose, as if reading my mind, Suzanne said, ‘In my country it is divorce season right now.’ It was winter, famous for festivals and infamous for breakups in the West. Her brother had just gotten a divorce. Perhaps that was why she was afraid of marriage.
‘Let’s wait and watch what we want to do. Let’s see if we want to live together or not after a year,’ she said quietly. I was bewildered. Without telling her, I dropped the idea of marriage altogether.
The shooting of Miss Lovely commenced. Suzanne used to accompany me there. Then came the day when her visa expired and she needed to return to New York to sort it out. She was gone for many months. One day, while we were shooting a dance scene, something happened to my co-star Niharika Singh. When the director said, ‘Cut!’, she quietly rushed to her vanity van and stayed there.
Something seemed to have happened to her. She was suddenly cold, went out of her way to maintain a distance from me and began to keep mum. I was puzzled. What was wrong with her? What had happened?
She used to be friendly, social and talk quite a bit. I thought it was best to ask her what had happened and so I did, not once, not twice, but several times, for several days. She responded that nothing had happened. I silenced my curiosity. I simply urged her to talk, be more social, that it was not healthy to be so quiet. After some days she began to. I invited her over for a home-cooked meal, a mutton dish which was my speciality. She politely agreed and came over. The dish I had made for her turned out to be absolutely terrible. But she was too well mannered to say so. Not only did she eat everything that was on her plate, but she praised it as well.
‘Now you come to my house, Nawaz. I will cook mutton for you,’ she said warmly.
For the very first time I went to Niharika’s house. I rang the doorbell, slightly nervous. When she opened the door, revealing a glimpse of the house, I was speechless with amazement. A hundred, or so it seemed, little candles flickered beautifully. She wore soft faux fur, looking devastatingly gorgeous, her beauty illuminated even more in the candlelight. And I, being the lusty village bumpkin that I am, scooped her up in my arms and headed straight for the bedroom. We made passionate love. And just like that, out of the blue, I began a relationship with Niharika Singh, a relationship which I did not know then would last for almost one-and-a-half years.
During the early days I wanted to impress her. I was a struggler but by then I had managed to get a car, a second-hand one, but a car nevertheless. She lived in Malad, I lived in Yari Road. There was this time when she had to come to Yari Road for some work. I told her that I would fetch her in my car. I decked myself up in my best clothes, sprinkled cologne and drove off to her place with a song in my heart… in the meantime, emails from Suzanne started coming. ‘Why are you not mailing me, Nawaz? What’s wrong?’ I did not respond, I did not have the courage to. I trusted my silence would convey what needed to be conveyed. When I was checking my inbox one day, Niharika happened to see one of her emails.
‘Who is this?’ she inquired.
‘You know very well who it is,’ I said. ‘It’s Suzanne.’
‘Wo-ow! It’s still going on between you two! Amazing!’ Niharika thundered in anger. ‘It is wrong. I hope you know that.’
‘No, Niharika, nothing is going on between us. Sometimes her emails come, that’s all. Slowly she will realize that Nawaz is not interested and she will stop emailing,’ I explained softly.
‘No, Nawaz! You must maintain clarity,’ she said.
‘All right! I will email her clearly then,’ I said.
‘No, you won’t. So I will email her,’ she said sternly.
From that day, Niharika began to send emails to Suzanne from my email address. She would type, ‘I cannot continue with you . . .’ and sign off as me. Imagine the shock for Suzanne. She would send heartbreaking replies like: ‘What happened, Nawaz? Please tell me, Nawaz! . . . I am crying, Nawaz! Tell me, please.’ It was absolutely awful. I simply could not endure it! It was as if she was screaming, crying out aloud helplessly in unbearable pain.
It was apparent that the emails had some sort of a multiple personality disorder. After a few of these email exchanges, Suzanne figured that this was not my voice at all. ‘Who is this writing, Nawaz? I know this is not you. Somebody else is with you,’ she wrote back.
Imagine her plight—helplessly trying to solve a mystery from another continent and her only clues were those few emails. ‘Somebody else is making you write these emails. Tell me who is this person?’ she wrote…
There was another piece to this puzzle. Like all girls, Niharika obviously expected some of the sweet conversations that lovers have, to take place between us. But I was quite a selfish bastard. I had a plain aim: go to her house, make out and leave. I could not talk lovey-dovey too much. It finally struck her that I was a rascal who cared only for himself. (Actually, all the girls I have ever been with have had this same complaint about me. I would only come to them for my own needs. Otherwise, I might not even take their calls.)
When I went to her place next, she was wearing a silk robe. I ran my hand over its coolness around her waist, grabbing her but she pushed me away. ‘No, Nawaz!’ she said. ‘I won’t meet you again. This is enough.’ I pleaded, I cried, I apologized. I said I wouldn’t repeat my mistakes again. I would be more thoughtful, a better lover. But she remained adamant. She had had enough. She had been hurt too many times. So that was that, we broke up cutting off all contact.
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First Published: Oct 24, 2017 14:54 IST