Priya’s simplicity is the best thing about her: John Abraham opens up about wife

Mumbai, Sarita A Tanwar: John Abraham announced his marriage on social media in January 2014. He’d been dating Priya Runchal, but no one saw his wedding to this NRI coming. Post-marriage, the new Mr and Mrs Abraham had a long-distance marriage for over a year, as she pursued further studies. Last heard, she had finished her academic vocations and has moved into the city full-time, but you’d never know it. The elusive Priya chooses to stay out of the limelight. She is rarely seen at film or brand events by her hubby’s side. But she is with him, where it matters. He has a dream, and she is helping him achieve it. As a financial analyst, she is an asset to his production company, and she takes that role very seriously. Here, the actor, reluctantly talks about his better half. Over to JA…

Why are you hiding your wife? Two years since the wedding and the paparazzi has only clicked her twice.
I haven’t. Priya is a very private person and so am I. have been through my process in this industry, in life and I think the righteous way to go about a relationship in the future is by absolutely — I wouldn’t say — not commenting, but by being really private. To a large extent, I credit the media for that, by helping us maintain privacy.

Please explain.
Actors here don’t really understand this. When you get out of our country and see the paparazzi outside, you realise that our media isn’t really intrusive. They are really humane and they have been absolutely fair. So, saying ‘no comments’ would not be a fair statement to make when asked about my private life because if you are an actor and a celebrity, then you owe that to your fans.

But you go out of your way to stay away from the media. When you are not promoting a film, you vanish.
I think we both are very private. I think Priya is very private and she would appreciate it if there was this element of privacy maintained because she is a very simple human being and that’s the best thing about her. When you’ll meet her you will understand that.

Yes, I’ve heard that about from some people she met at Nita Ambani’s party.
(Smiles) She is such a nice person. Let’s assume that she was not my partner, and I’d still say that about her. She is like any girl out there who would want to sit in a rickshaw and go somewhere. She wants to guard that space. So she wants to stay away from the celebrity. Like Emraan Hashmi’s wife, Parveen. I remember him telling me that she wants to be able to go to the park with their son, or drop and pick him up from school without being recognised. Yes, and I kind of respect her space. Being an actor, we get a lot of baggage of past relationships and, how much can you throw at a woman who doesn’t live here and has come into this country? I want her to be shielded from all that acting part of my life.

She lives here full-time?
Yes, she is here now. She finished her education from London Business School and she was in Los Angeles, recently when I was promoting Rocky Handsome.

You said you want to be the Harvey Weinstein of India. Is she part of the dream for your production house?
She is a very important part of it. Priya, in fact, sits in the same chair where you are sitting. She is actually helping restructure everything at JA Entertainment and JA football, all my endorsements are handled by her office people. Everything is done in this office and we are very self-sustaining unit. So she is a big value addition to my life and my company.

I remember sitting in this same room, three years ago, before you got married, talking about children and you said that you didn’t want to bring anyone into this world because the world that we have to offer a child, is not a good one. Has that decision changed post-marriage?
The fair answer is: I really haven’t thought about children. I do believe that we are a very populated country and a populated world…We have a lot of homeless children and I believe that we need to give them homes first. That’s the only way I would really like to put it. And I am speaking in all honesty. I see the stress that parents go through, and it’s not a joke. Earlier, we used to say that motherhood is heroism. Today, you say getting a child into a school is heroism. The whole concept of being a parent has changed. Earlier, we used to have children because the concept of procreation was that the children will take care of you when they grow up. Today, that absolutely doesn’t exist. If you want the joy of having a child, then know that he or she will be there till the age of 16. Please do so, because after that, you are on your own. But it’s a personal choice. In my case, I haven’t thought about children. I just think that and I say this for all the people who are going to read that as much as we all want to have children, I think adoption should also be a very important option.