Sep 19, 2010

We are engaged, says Lara Dutta, Mahesh Bhupathi

After winning the Miss Universe crown ten years ago, Lara Dutt lived in New York for a while. Tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi was there, too. But, they never bumped into each other then. Still, the city remains one of their favourites in the world, and that is perhaps why Mahesh chose to pop the questionthere, during the recent US Open. “He did it over a candlelit dinner and took me completely by surprise. I couldn’t believe that he had picked the stone and designed the ring all by himself,” beams HT City columnist, Lara, flashing her diamond.

The engagement has made the relationship “official”, as the couple has been spotted often, publicly, but till now neither had confirmed or denied a relationship. “When I was asked if I was single, I said ‘no’, but beyond that refused to divulge details about my personal life. I’ve always said that I’d speak about my relationship only when I knew where it was headed. Mahesh was going through a divorce and he needed space to sort things out and not a complicated khichdi,” she reasons.

Lara MaheshEven when Mahesh’s ex-wife Svetha Jaishankar opened up to the media, insisting that Lara had been responsible for the end of her marriage, the actor maintained a dignified silence. Today, Lara says, “I met Mahesh a year after he had separated from his ex-wife. So I was not involved or responsible for their break-up. Once we started seeing each other, I knew instinctively that he was my Mr Right. But we waited, gave ourselves time to see if things would work out right and announce it properly.”

So, when did epiphany strike? “I was shooting for Houseful in London, Mahesh was training non-stop. We hadn’t seen each other in six weeks. When we finally met, I knew we both were in trouble,” Lara laughs. When’s the marriage? Not this year,” she says. “Both of us are too busy. After the Davis Cup, Mahesh has the Commonwealth Games coming up.” She adds, “Our families are excited. We love each other and our three dogs. Life’s beautiful!”