'I have bought a nice sari for Rakhi, as shagun'
The Parujanwalas are suddenly thrown in the spotlight, thanks to their famous bahu-to-be Rakhi Sawant.
Elesh's parents and sister seem quite excited about the turn of events, and the new celebrity addition to the family. The family takes turns speaking to Rajul Hegde about the engagement.
First up, is Elesh's father and businessman Narendra Chimanlal Parujanwala.
Do you every fear that Rakhi may not respect you?
As of now, we have not experienced anything like that. She is very caring, loving and down-to-earth. She does not appear how the media has portrayed her to be. She is not a nautanki. We don't know what has happened between Rakhi and her family, so we don't want to comment on that.
Don't you think being the eldest member in the family, you should have gone and met her family?
She has told us that when the time comes, everything will happen. So lets wait and watch. All we know is that she has struggled a lot in her life and needs a lot of love. If anything is lacking, we will take care of it.
Will you be comfortable if Rakhi continues doing item numbers after marriage?
If she is doing an item number in Bollywood, what is wrong with it? You must always respect your work. Why look at it as an unrespectable job? Work is worship. I think that is what India lacks today. This is the mentality people have here. That's why there are problems in India.
Are you okay if she needs to dress suggestively for her films?
She has told us that she will wear short dresses but will not cross her limit. We are living in the 21st century, in a western country. When we go to a beach, we see girls wearing swimsuits, whether it is Canada or India. So why make an issue only on Rakhi's costumes?
There were reports that Elesh will be offered some money to back out of the wedding.
That was a media report. Let them find the answer.
Image: Rakhi Sawant and Elesh Parujanwala. Inset: Narendra Chimanlal Parujanwala
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
'I didn't know much about Rakhi before'
Elesh's mother Poornima Parujanwala talks about Rakhi Sawant and her son, Elesh:
How did you react when your son told you that he is taking part in Rakhi Ka Swayamvara?
I was delighted and blessed him. I told him to go ahead and take part in the show. I was confident that he would make it to the top.
What was your reaction when he was chosen in the swayamvara?
We were very happy because everything was done with the full consent and blessings of the parents.
Did you know who Rakhi Sawant was before the show?
I didn't know much about her. I only knew that she is a great dancer and an actress. I didn't know how she looked. I saw her picture only when Elesh mentioned her and the Swayamavar to me.
Did you given any shagun to Rakhi during the engagement?
No, we still have to give her that. I have bought a nice sari and an envelope (as shagun) with lots of good luck.
Did you feel left out because all the preparation was taken care of by the channel, NDTV Imagine?
Not at all. We felt great. It was nice that we didn't have to do anything but only enjoy. We will definitely have a grand reception at Toronto after the wedding.
What do you have to say about her past?
We are not interested in her past. Even my son had many girlfriends but he has never crossed his limit. Every teenager will go through the phase but now, he is serious and wants to settle down with Rakhi.
Rakhi seems to be a dominating kind of person. Are you wary about your relationship with her when you two live under the same roof?
I don't have an answer to that because I have not lived with her. As far as I know her, she is a darling and doesn't look like a dominant person. I think she will blend in with the family.
What is that one quality you liked about Rakhi?
Anything she does, she keeps God in the centre. That clicked with us.
People are speculating whether Elesh and Rakhi will eventually get married or not.
Anything can happen, so let's leave it to God and those two. Let's see what happens. We will take one step at a time.
Image: Rakhi and Elesh. Inset: Poornima Parujanwala
'I knew Elesh would give a tough competition to the others'
Elesh's sister, Vrinda, a teacher, talks about her brother's engagement to Rakhi Sawant:
What was your reaction when your brother told you about the show?
I have watched Bachelorette. When Elesh mentioned that Rakhi Ka Swayamvar was something like that, I asked him to go ahead.
Honestly speaking, I did not know who Rakhi Sawant was.
Though I knew Elesh would not be the best groom, I knew he would give a tough competition to the others.
You are getting married on August 16 in Toronto. Did Rakhi give you any tips on make-up and dressing?
Not really. After watching and being on the show, I have got a few tips on sangeet and weddings.
Image: Rakhi and Elesh. Inset: Vrinda