Let Love Lead The Way – Ram Charan & Upasna Kamineni

She saw him in her previous birth when she underwent Past Life regression

They say that one friend can change your whole life. And when that one friend becomes your life partner, it seems like you’re living your best dream. Well, if you thought that only happens in fantasies, wait till you hear the story of Upasna Kamineni Konidela and Ram Charan Konidela. One is a popular heiress of a Mega business empire while the other is the reigning star of Telugu cinema who belongs to the Mega film family

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She saw him in her previous birth when she went through Past Life regression. Dismissing it as her imagination, she changed the regression expert. But she saw him again in another lifetime. Sounds filmy, does it? Well, that’s how life has been for Upasna Kamineni ever since she saw `Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge,’ `Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’ and `Chandni’ as a kid. Yash Chopra’s films totally coloured her perception of love and all things romantic. She dreamt of a knight in shining armour sweeping her off her feet in her teens but when she met hers, he was in the form of a friend. She believes in the signs of the universe and everything metaphysical. She expresses love with warmth and endearments. Her pet name is Upsy. She is 29.

He grew up with films surrounding him. His father Chiranjeevi lived and breathed life into his larger than life roles earning him the title of Megastar. Films are a way of life for Ram Charan. His second film Magadheera took him to such giddy heights of success that he could have lost his head at 24. But no, that’s not his style. He’s always been way too mature for his age. Not only did he handle his superstardom with a cool head but also went ahead and experimented with roles totally different from the formula that catapulted him to fame. His romance is subdued and understated. He believes in being realistic and grounded. He’s fondly addressed as Cherry. He is 31.

What’s striking when you see them together is that the man of few words turns eloquent and the girl who talks nonstop is tongue tied.  It’s obvious she brings out the best in him and that he has an astounding effect on her. They share an easy camaraderie like only two friends can when they are hanging out together but it is laced with a bit of romance and ribbing each other light heartedly. Nice.

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The couple got married in 2012 in what was easily the marriage of the decade in South India.

So how did it all begin?  

“We were friends for a very long time – since college actually. There were no special feelings between us before I went overseas to study. Love just happened and it was a nice change. What drew us together was that we both knew we had to live up to the expectations our families had of us. We shared similar thoughts, we had the same problems and we both shared the same outlook and belief of working hard to achieve success,” elucidates Upasna.

Reminisces Charan, “The truth is even though we had known each other for long, we started dating only after the release of my film Magadheera’. In fact, `Orange’ had also released by then. All my friends would keep telling me that she really cares for me like nobody else ever would and that I wasn’t recognising the fact that she’s the one for me. One fine day, what my dad had told me years ago came back to me. He had told me when I was weighing my career options that I wasn’t recognising the opportunities I have as an actor. And that I was looking everywhere while sitting on the pot of gold. The scenario seemed similar now. Here was a girl, my friend of 7 years, everybody was able to see her as my ideal partner and I was being oblivious. That’s when I realised that I was waiting to find the right girl while I had her with me all along. My perspective underwent a transformation.”

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How did the life defining moment happen? 

“Actually, it happened over a period of time. We had been dating for a couple of years. Both of us went to our family temple without telling anybody and that’s when my parents and other family members realised what we meant for each other.  One day we were talking and somehow started discussing marriage. I was obviously thrilled, excited, my heart raced at like a million beats in a second. I couldn’t contain my happiness,” blushes Upasna reliving those precious moments.

What do they like and dislike most about each other? 

“I love the fact that she has an amazing equation with my family. My mother, sisters, dad, friends, everybody just adores her. Another thing that’s very endearing is that she’s a great stress buster. But what concerns me is her idea of an ideal world. She lives in a fairy tale. She needs to be brought down to terra firma every now and then.”

Quite true to his observation, Upasna says, “I sincerely believe that the universe speaks to me through signs. I believe in the power of our intentions. I believe that sources help us. I like everything about him. What I like most is the little thoughtful stuff he does for me. He holds my sari when I walk while wearing one because he knows I struggle a bit with it. During our wedding, my nose ring was slipping out and oblivious to the cameras around us he would keep adjusting it. He woos me in a way every girl would love. He even paints my nails. Tell me, how can I not be smitten by him?”

Any special memories they cherish? 

“There are several but I’ll mention a few that come to my mind instantly. I don’t know how to describe it but we felt very connected during our wedding ceremony. When the curtain between us was raised and I saw her it was such a special moment for both of us. Nobody could actually see what was happening. Only both of us could feel this.”

Upasna fondly recalls the fact that he personally designed the engagement ring. She says, “He knows me very well. I loved it the moment he gave it to me and the best part is he knew I would like it. Charan personally looked into every detail of the wedding preparations to make sure I was happy. One month after we got married, Charan gifted me Daisy – a Falabella – which is a miniature breed of horse.”

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Now that four years have passed, have they settled into the routine of matrimony?

 “It still feels like we are friends. Moreover, she always takes care of me big time. She also makes everything special for me. Which man won’t be floored with so much attention and affection?  She remembers every minor and major habit of mine,” says Charan.

“Both of us do wacky things together and we had once done regression therapy. There were signs that God sent that made me realise that we were connected. I was lucky I married my best friend,” says Upasna and that is the advice she gives young girls too – “Marry a person only if you feel he is right for you. Learn to adjust and pay attention to the signs God sends you. I personally believe in good and bad karma and destiny,”

What role have their families played in their married life?

“My parents’ marriage has been inspirational to not only me but many people. It’s not like they didn’t argue, they did, but they always sorted out things without letting anything overpower the relationship. My dad advised me not to expect anything for the first 2 years. He told me that the initial years are trying times for a couple. He advised me to just chill out and not stress each other out. Had I not got this advice, I would probably have been a regular guy with too many expectations. Luckily for me, dad has always been there for me,” explains Charan.

“My grandfather always said that Charan’s the perfect choice for me. My parents, sister, aunts, uncles, everybody shares a very easy relationship with him. For me, it’s very important to have the people I love get along with one another,” elucidates Upasna.

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What do they have in common?

“We both love drama though I’m not overtly dramatic in real life. I would get bored if I had a partner who is quiet. I guess we complement each other perfectly,” laughs Charan

“We love fast cars, horses, Polo, deep sea diving and films,” says his best friend-turned-wife.

Charan’s always surrounded by attractive girls and goes on extended outdoor schedules. It’s not easy being married to the heartthrob of millions. Does the green eyed monster haunt her?

“I’m not insecure at all because if you know Charan, you will know that he’s a very committed sort of a guy. I’m very secure about him. If I feel stuck at any point, I have my mother-in-law to guide me,” says Upasna in a calm tone.

“I wouldn’t do anything to hurt her,” responds Charan.

For Upasna and Charan, marriage has been somewhat like having a sleep over with your best friend, every single night of the week. Nice, no?