Kareena and Shahid share their modern day love story

Kareena Kapoor:

For me, love is passionate, romantic and eternal. It's like the emotions portrayed by my grandfather, Raj Kapoor and Nargis. But it's also like the love of David and Victoria Beckham, where you find an intense streak of friendship in their romantic relationship as well. After I met Shahid, I even started believing in One Love. I know, each time we are in a relationship we tend to think, 'this is it'. But trust me, when you meet the person God has chosen for you, you're insecure no more. And you feel it from the bottom of your heart.

Shahid is a very charming guy. He has some amazing qualities, similar to those my grandfather had. He isn't your regular muscle man, yet he's every woman's dream man... that's what sets him apart. Ah, love! I wouldn't have understood this beautiful emotion so deeply had Shahid not come into my life. Today, I believe in rebirth, in karmic connection and eternal love. If I were to be reborn, I'd want him and all my loved ones in my life again. People often ask me if I ever wanted an older man in my life, considering I've always lived with my mother. But I say 'never!' as my dad was always around when I needed him. I've never longed for a salt-and-pepper guy in my life. And so what if Shahid is my age, he may look boyish, but he is a man in the true sense. There I was, waiting for somebody to connect with and then there he was! Was it love at first sight? Yes, I do believe it was. I had a massive crush on Shahid when I was first introduced to him by a common friend, in a hotel lobby. I liked him instantly and started pestering him, calling him up every day. I admit that if it weren't for my pushing, we wouldn't have been together. After that, we met again at a film preview, and there was no stopping us... It's been three years now!

Those days, I was doing Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, and his debut film Ishq Vishq was on the verge of release. Every channel was airing his promos. I don't know why, but I kept flipping channels to get a glimpse of him. He was on my mind. I even started humming the songs of his film. Later, when we started going around, Shahid told me that he had visited the sets of my film to meet his dad, Pankaj Kapoor. And I didn't know! You see, all these things are in God's hands. I guess all my pushing and pestering was worth it. Today, no amount of fame, money or success, can take him away from me.

No doubt my mother and sister Lolo are my right and left hands, but in the last three years, if you have seen a more mature Kareena, then it's what I call the 'Shahid effect'. He has taught me to live life in the simplest, most positive and down-to-earth manner. He has the most calming effect on me.

I think what attracted me to Shahid was his self respect. He is the most hard-working and focused guy I have seen. On the lighter side, I know a lot of girls have crushes on him. I have seen girls swooning over him, yet I am not insecure. I want a permanent relationship with Shahid one that goes beyond one lifetime. I wouldn't want to change anything major in him, but yes, perhaps his habit of over-sleeping. If I didn't wake him up, he'd sleep for two days! Shahid is the base of our relationship, and I don't want him to change. If he changes, well, I don't know if our relationship will be the same. Today, many relationships are going through a major crisis. Men want that extra edge over women. They want to be in control of everything. But I feel the mantra that works is 'treat your woman with respect'.

As good as we are together, I know the next step to our relationship is marriage. But we are not ready for it. At the moment, our focus is work. I want Shahid to have at least 10-15 releases and be secure in his profession before taking the plunge. For him, work is first and I come second. I don't mind that. Similarly, he knows that work is my first priority as well.

Shahid Kapoor:

For me, love is eternal. I believe that true love happens just once the others, though beautiful and pleasant, are just a part of growing up. When true love comes your way, God gives you a signal. I may sound filmi, but fact is that at that particular moment, you get a feeling from the bottom of your heart. There are no two ways about that! Yes, I have found my true love in Bebo, my girlfriend. She is my every woman. I can never be distracted by anybody; not even a purer and more beautiful girl than Bebo!

Apart from work, she is the most important aspect of my life, at this point. You know, at times work keeps people apart to the extent that you lose emotional contact with your partner. That's why I make a conscious effort to be with Bebo mentally, if not physically, all the time. I firmly believe that to cement a relationship, it's important to really be with the other person, at least for the first few years as that's the period when your relationship is growing roots.

No, I don't believe in love at first sight. It's too big and deep an emotion to take shape so suddenly. It's a strong sentiment that develops and increases with time. Yes, there's a certain chemistry, an instant attraction and a connection that follows the first meeting. Like, when I first met Bebo through a common friend in a hotel lobby, I quite liked her. But it was only on our second meeting at a preview theatre that we really hit it off. At that time, I didn't know anything about her, except that she was a superstar and a damn good actress. I had seen some of her films. But what struck me about her, when I met her was that she was completely unaware of her stardom and her success. I was drawn to her primarily because of her honest and real self. You know when Bebo looks her best? When she is clad in a simple salwar kameez, devoid of any make-up... that's when I like her best. The more time I spent with Bebo, the more I realised that she was someone special. I started falling in love slowly. It was beautiful... For me, an ideal romantic relationship would be like the one portrayed in Titanic unconditional and exquisite! I love to be in love.

Bebo looks very stern, but she is a very soft and gentle soul. And she has a strong streak of independence, which I respect. I have seen my mother working hard to support me, that's why I have extra respect for working women. And probably that's the reason I like the determination and drive that steers her career. She is very focused. Bebo thinks I am the best! She is my biggest ego-booster. Since the last three years, our bond has become stronger. My life is incomplete without her... Today, many relationships are going through a stressful time. Obviously, I don't think I am qualified to comment on their problems, but I do strongly believe that honest love can move mountains. In my opinion, respect for each other is the key to a long lasting relationship. Shower each other with true feelings and everything else will be dwarfed in front of your love. Selfish love doesn't live long. If there's even an ounce of dishonesty or selfishness, love flies out of the window instantly.

Would I want Bebo to change? No, I love her the way she is. I love everything about her. She is stable, secure, confident and self-made. And she has evolved so much as an actress and as a person.

Our families have occasionally met and of course, they know about our relationship. But nothing is really official right now. Though I believe that having children is one of the most joyous things on earth, right now, Bebo and I haven't thought about it. We are just working towards cementing our relationship, our love and focus on our work. I have the love of my life beside me and work is my goal now. So the saying 'when a man knows what he wants, the world steps aside to make way for him', applies to me at this point!