Forever Us – Suniel & Mana Shetty

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  • Suniel & Mana Shetty

In a world for of ‘I’s’, very few look at the ‘we’s’. Here are some couples that have taken the ‘we’ from personal to professional and have grown stronger together. They have loved each other, fought for one another and risen above it all to succeed as partners made in heaven

Suniel & Mana Shetty

R House Furnishing Solutions

I was very young when we first met at my sister’s friend’s party. I was 17 and had just started college. For about eight months to a year we met constantly and over time I realized that he is my soul mate,” says Mana when asked how it all began. But the journey from realization to actualization took almost nine years. “We’re not from the same community. Mana is half Punjabi, half Muslim and I come from a conservative community in Mangalore so there was an initial worry about her fitting in but once my family met her and got to know her, there was no stopping it. We’ve been married for 23 years now,” adds Suniel.

Suniel and Mana have grown stronger as their relationship progressed. “I respect the fact that she has always been independent and worked. Also, she looks after my family so well. We live in a joint family so to see her with my parents is beautiful. Also, she is an extrovert so she balances me out really well,” says Suniel. And as for what Mana has to say about him, “He does have a bit of a temper. I won’t deny that. Sometimes he just needs to breathe! But he has protected me, kept me secure, loved me unconditionally and been an exceptional father to my children. What more could a woman ask for?”

And while the couple initially had different career paths and dreams, Suniel moved from modeling to acting while Mana established herself as a fashion designer, the two slowly found themselves gravitating towards real estate and interior design. The couple has set up R House Furnishing Solutions where Mana looks after the creative side and Suniel takes advantage of his business acumen to look after the financial aspects. “Even though he has a strong creative side, we sort of automatically drew a line to decide who would handle what with the business. It’s a different phase in our lives and we definitely enjoy working together,” says Mana.

For Mana, giving back to the children of India has always been an important cause. The guidance she received from her late mother, Vipula Kadri, who started Save The Children India back in 1988, grew into a passion to help the little souls. Part of her efforts to raise funds for the NGO is Araaish, a venture she began with her siblings Isha Mehra and Rahul Kadri. Araaish is a lifestyle exhibition that has garnered a name of itself as being one of the few platforms that brings glamour and giving together. “There is absolutely no business angle to Araaish,” explains Mana, “All we do with the exhibition is raise funds for the NGO my mother started all those many years ago.”

From taking the Indian film industry by storm to carving a niche in the world of design to making a name in the real estate business, the Shettys have lived and loved through it all. They have learnt each other’s quirks, grown to respect and trust the other unconditionally, raised a family together and, ultimately, fallen in love with each other over and over again.