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THE GR8! MAG 10TH ANNIVERSARY PHOTOSHOOT
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Ridhi & Raqesh's Dinner Date

Charming, matured, notorious, Ridhi Dogra & Raqesh Vashisth certainly are one of the Perfect Couples of our small screen but not much about them is revealed to their fans. Ridhi is a complete foodie and loves to eat while Raqesh relishes salads and Italian cuisine and certainly balances his food. Because of their hectic schedules they might not be getting time to go on dates very often, thus GR8! Took Ridhi & Raqesh on a Dinner Date at Svenska Restaurant. So, here we begin Ridhi & Raqesh’s Dinner Date…

Firstly, how did you find Svenska?

Ridhi: I was pleasantly surprised to find such a quaint and contemporary boutique hotel in the midst of the hustle bustle of the city. I really enjoyed it!

Raqesh: Hmm… I liked Svenska as it is pretty different from other restaurants, not too crowded and quite peaceful.�

And how’s the ambience?

Ridhi: It had a very urban and contemporary feel. The decor was easy on the eye and had a unique look and feel which was refreshing.

Raqesh: It’s quite cozy and romantic. The tables are well placed so it looks quite spacious and of course the food is great!�

So, what have you ordered?

Ridhi: Well, honestly the chef has already prepared the exquisite dishes for us and we are relishing on it. I really thank them for being so nice.

Raqesh: As Ridhi said we are just enjoying and relishing this delicious food that has been especially prepared for us. It’s really sweet of them to pre- arrange everything for us.�

And how’s the Food?

Ridhi: The chef presented some really great dishes. I am a gourmand so I felt like I was in food heaven! The food definitely gets full marks.

Raqesh: The food is excellent; the chef personally came and briefed us about the ingredients and the style of cooking it. Spanish cuisine is quite like our Indian cuisine and as I like Spanish dishes, I absolutely enjoyed the food!

Your favourite dish tonight?

Ridhi: The Prawns’ appetizer, the Grilled Chicken and the Turkish pizza! Mouth watering and yummy! And how can I forget the chocolate mud cake, anything made with chocolate is my weakness and the dessert preparation was certainly worth all the love (Smiles).

Raqesh: Prawns and pizza, they were amazing.

Are you a foodie?

Ridhi: I am a gourmand, I Love food. I always say, as long as something is well presented I will try it. I love experimenting with cuisines of all kinds, I am a complete foodie.

Raqesh: No, I am not actually a foodie but Ridhi is. Ridhi actually hogs, she just loves eating and many a times I have to tell her to stop. It’s like this cat and mouse situation, if I don’t ask her to control then she will be like I have put on weight, Raqesh you should have stopped me.�

Tell us something about each other’s food habits and tastes?

Ridhi: Raqesh has very simple food habits, he eats small and light. He Loves salads and pastas and has a sweet tooth! His fondness for desserts, Indian sweets in particular is extremely endearing.

Raqesh: As I said Ridhi loves food and she loves to eat, but she is into healthy food. She doesn’t eat junk food or any sort of food that isn’t cooked in a healthy way. She loves anything that is cooked in tomato based gravy. She wouldn’t eat anything of Maida, even when we go out she would order whole wheat base pizza. Another significant thing about Ridhi is that even though being a foodie, she doesn’t eat any sweets. She doesn’t like sweets at all of course except for Chocolates and anything made of chocolates.�

Your favourite cuisine?

Ridhi: It’s very difficult for me to pick 'A' Favourite Cuisine because of my love for food in general. I love all cuisines, Italian, Japanese, Mughlai, Spanish, Mexican, Lebanese... It’s unfair and I really find it hard to pick just one Cuisine as my favourite.

Raqesh: Definitely Italian, especially Pastas but again made of whole wheat or multi-grain. It not only tastes good but it also is good for health and easy to digest as compared to Maida. I also love Salads, I can live on them, anything green and I will become Ridhi, I can hog on salads.�

Your favourite beverage?

Ridhi: I don't drink tea or coffee. But I completely love cold coffee, prepared in the good old homemade way!

Raqesh: Sangria is my favourite drink when it comes to alcohol but otherwise there isn’t any other drink as such. I would say Water is the best thing to have as I am not a juice fan because I prefer having fruits. Also, I and Ridhi love Green Tea, so on the sets you would see us sipping on green tea rather than eating junk food whenever we are hungry.�

Given to the hectic schedules how do you’ll manage to spend quality time with each other?

Ridhi: Hectic schedules can never ruin me from having a good time. I work hard because I love it and then I make sure I end it well too. The perfect way to end a gruelling day at work is to spend time with your best friend. And quality doesn't mean quantity! For me the key is to make most of the time you get rather than cribbing for the time you didn't! That's also the only way to keep your sanity in check through the erratic work hours we have in our profession.

Raqesh: We enjoy our time to the fullest whenever we get time, instead of complaining. The basic advantage is that we are working together, so after pack up we sometimes hang out with friends or go out for dinner if not in the mood to eat home cooked food (Smiles). So, after a hectic day we certainly have great time with each other and thus it doesn’t matter whether we are spending hours together or few minutes.

Isn’t it a boon that both of you’ll were doing the same show?�

Ridhi: Of course it was a Boon! Not only because we are married but also as co-actors we used to constantly help each other to perform better. We worked on that connection in front of the camera and we knew how to give each other space at work. As for an actor, his own space on set is crucial and we maintained that balance.

Raqesh: Well, it was a boon and bane as well. Boon because we got to spend time with each other on the sets too and most of the time the shooting schedules were same. Though we understand each other very well, we still need space. We were working in the same serial but we had separate make up rooms and we didn’t cling to each other all the time. We were the same as we were before marriage; Ridhi doesn’t behave in the typical wife manner asking a hundred questions. I really respect her that she understands the fact that I need my space and I too give her that space. We both are Virgos so I think there are a lot of similarities between us (Smiles).�

How would you describe a Perfect Dinner Date?

Ridhi: I enjoy and thrive on good conversations and combine that with great dinner. Either made at home by me (I love cooking for Raqesh) or to head out to any of my favourite restaurants and a long drive with some more conversations... That's perfect!

Raqesh: If the Conversation and company is great, your best buddy is along with you, what else do you need? To make a date perfect you need to have a great Date, whom you can take our on a date. And Ridhi is just a Perfect Date.

One dish that Raqesh has cooked for you?

Ridhi: He isn’t a kitchen person but yes, he makes yummy omelettes of egg white of course and they are so fluffy just like sponge cake. And he used to prepare omelettes for me but this was before marriage.

One dish that Ridhi has cooked for you?

Raqesh: She prepares yummy whole wheat pastas in tomato gravy that too without any added cream. She is an amazing cook and certainly is blessed with good cooking skills, and when she made Dal Makhani for the first time, it was delicious. She didn’t use cr�me or any other fattening ingredient and yet it was delicious. She has mastered the art of Cooking.

Your most memorable Date or Vacation?

Ridhi: We have had such great times that probably didn't start off as dates because we both don't believe in the concept of ‘Dates’. But I have had some of the best times talking till way into the morning and even alone. I am blessed to have my best friend by my side 24/7. (Smiles)

Raqesh: Well, I wouldn’t say it was a great time but it certainly is memorable and the emotions shared are priceless. After marriage we went to Goa, not on honeymoon but we drastically needed a break as were tired with the hectic marriage schedule. On the second or third day, we met with an accident there. We were on a bike and as it was raining thus the lights had gone so we never saw that there was a black cow in front of the bike. I saw it on the last moment and swirled my bike, and in order to save the cow, we fell. We got bad bruises and as it was late evening, so by the time we reached back it was night and there were no doctors. I and Ridhi nursed each other and the entire night we were laughing thinking of this incident that a newly married couple comes on a vacation and meets with an accident. We felt that this strong sense of belonging and togetherness and that time was just amazing. We enjoyed our trip to the fullest and its rally very dear to us. �

Girl’s/ Boy’s night out or a romantic candle light dinner?

Ridhi: A combination of both! And why not…

Raqesh: Hmm... Well, when I am with my friends, Ridhi too is like one of the boys amongst us. The word Date doesn’t exist in my dictionary or hers, it’s all about spending quality and good time with each other.�


- Dharmishtha Dagia