News & Interviews

26/11 Special: How Aashish Choudhary’s Life Feel Apart…And Then Came Together Again

Aashish Choudhary

This is the story of film and television actor Aashish Choudhary’s plunge to the nadir of depression , when in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai he lost his sister and brother-in-law.

Today as he looks on at his  twin-girls Aashish wonders what kind of a curse had overtaken his and his family’s life.

 Thinking back  on the  dark days of despair Ashish says, “When I lost my sister Monica and my brother-in-law Ajit to the terror attack I thought things could never get worse. I began to pick up the shattered pieces of my heart . My wife Shamita and I focused on looking after my sister’s two children as our own.”

 But then God had other plans. Soon after this unspeakable tragedy more catastrophe struck Aashish’s family. “My parents met with a near-fatal road accident. My mother broke her spine and my father fractured his right arm in two places. My wife went into  a depression and had to be hospitalized. At one point all three of my most loved ones my parents and my wife were in hospital together. And  our dog was dying at the same time.”

Because of all the personal problems Ashish also lost his movie career.

 There came a time when Aashish stared at a near-empty bank account . “My wife was pregnant with our son Agastya and I had 7,000 rupees in my account. I realized my career as an actor had gone out of hand while I was looking into all the crisis at home.While I started my career as an actor from scratch on another medium, television , I ventured out into entrepreneurship. Today I’am financially sound enough to look after my wife parents and all my five children.My bread comes from my business ventures. Acting provides the butter.”

 The five children that Aashish refers to are son Agastya, just-born twin daughters(yet to be named) and his deceased sister’s two children Kanishk and Ananya.

 Aashish has bought two adjacent homes in a Mumbai highrise , one for his wife and 5 kids and the other for his parents.

 Among all the calamities that we enumerated we forgot to  mention the one that befell Aashish’s earlier home. “The entire home was overtaken by termites. When the pest controllers came they said they had seen nothing like it. And if you think that’s all, wait. Because my car suddenly burnt down. To this day no one knows how and why it happened. But I’ll tell you this. I began to believe in buri nazar. My friends Farah Ali Khan(Sanjay Khan’s daughter) and Wardha Nadiadwala(producer Sajid Nadiadwala’s spouse) did pujas and rituals to ward off whatever evil had overtaken my life. Because evil had undoubtedly become the ruling factor in my life.”

 It was at this time that Aashish went back to television. “That’s where I had started my career. And that’s where rediscovered my bearings. My serial Ek Mutthi Aasman has  brought me the kind of fan-following that I never imagined.”

Apparently girl fans tattoo Aashish’s name on their body.

Laughs Aashish in embarrassment, “I’ve  told them not to do anything to embarrass their parents. The kind of crazy adulation that the serial has got me, although I was in it for just eight months, has boggled my mind. Movies could never get me the same fame. At the most I’d still be doing multi-starrers like Double Dhamaal.”

     Aashish’s life has done a complete turn-around. “I am today far more appreciative of what I  have. If I have survived the blows of fate that I was dealt non-stop after 26/11 it’s because of my son Agastya. His smile kept all of hopeful at the time of despair.We would pass him around , cuddle him and feel revived.”

  Now there is the twin daughters. “I can’t believe the joy they bring to me each time I see them.”

    Aashish’s family toyed with the idea of naming one of the twin girls after his sister. “But we dropped the idea. Every time we’d call out my daughter’s name we would be reminded  of the tragedy that befell the family on that fateful night in November.”

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