MUMBAI: Soft-spoken yet forthright in her views, actress Ridhi Dogra feels that her divorce from actor-husband Raqesh Bapat in 2019 seemed to have prepared her for the months she spent alone during the pandemic.
In an exclusive interview, the actress gets candid about enjoying her new-found singledom, life in the pandemic and chilling out with her girl gang.
On being asked about her coping mechanism with the ongoing pandemic situation, the actress replied, “When I got divorced in 2019, I had to learn to live on my own for the first time in my life. I have never lived alone. Besides being married, I have always enjoyed the hustle and bustle of friends dropping and pets as my companion. Suddenly I found myself all alone in a house after my divorce. My brother stays a few floors below and my nephew keeps dropping in, so, technically, when the lockdown was announced in 2020, I was prepared to face it. We had to all learn to live life in the new normal. I just had gratitude in my heart and kept praying for better things, which probably helped me battle the tough times. I have now formed a healthy relationship with myself.”.
Regarding her marital life’s transition to singlehood, she said, “Everyone wants to come home to someone. While I do miss having a companion, I feel that one should learn to enjoy this phase, too. It is important to love yourself and have a relationship with yourself first. There are so many who are trapped in lonely marriages. I feel it’s important to understand that you don’t need anyone to complete you; you should also not be affected by anyone who enters or exits your life. It may sound bookish, but you have to be at peace with yourself, understand your flaws and appreciate the good qualities. The inward journey is important. Raqesh and I have been in touch occasionally and I know that he is still family for me. People think that celebs can divorce and move on in their lives, but that’s not true. It requires a lot of dignity and grace to be able to do that. I am thankful to Raqesh for helping me evolve and our friendship has helped us transition easily into a new phase. Currently, I feel gratitude and blessed for everything that I have in life.”.
On being asked about welcoming fresh new romantic alliances, she affirmed, “Currently, I am open to good work and want to focus on that. I need to be the best person and feel complete so that when I do find someone, I can make that relationship perfect. I want to be surrounded by good people and be empowered in such a way that I can share my silences with someone. Communication is important in a marriage because only good communication leads to compatibility. Love is the base of every relationship, but if you don’t share things with your partner, it can get difficult.”.
Regarding her previous plan of quitting her acting career, Ridhi expressed, “Before Woh Apna Sa happened, I had seriously thought of quitting acting because nothing was challenging enough. I wanted to work every day, but that was not happening. I realised that along with acting, it was important to learn other things, too. So, I turned to scriptwriting and did a few courses regarding the process of filmmaking and production. It’s only when the web space opened up that I felt I changed my mind and did not feel the need to quit acting.”.
Opening up about her friendship and off-screen camaraderie with fellow Hindi entertainment artistes, Ridhi said, “I have gotten to know them because of work. I don’t believe in the concept of best friends, but I do feel that there is a connection with them. Mostly, I connect with people over spirituality and Ekta, who is an amazing person, is one of them. Even Rithwik Dhanjani, Asha Negi and I used to share a lot of information on cosmic energy and spirituality.”.