When Tina & Tarz Got Married
“Shine Bright like a Diamond”
Tina Sugandh’s beauty and vocal tone are uplifting and inspiring. Her glitz and sparkle can really provide a visual that stuns and energizes a crowd. Her music is out of this world and definitely worth a listen. She is just one of those artistes that you can put on in the car and lose yourself in the music while you are driving on the highway.
Imagine my delight when I heard that Tina was going to be on a new reality series on Bravo TV, “Newlyweds: The First Year”. I absolutely could not believe it – the premiere of her new show could not come fast enough. I haven’t been this excited about a newlyweds show since the premiere of Nick and Jess in 2003.
For those of you that don’t know Tina, she is a Mumbai born native of New Jersey. When her older sister Seema got married, Tina and her parents picked up their things and moved to Los Angeles. The home of the LA Dodgers.
On Monday, May 6th at 10 pm Bravo is following four couples on camera for an entire year, documenting intimate moments in their first year of marriage.
The paths of the four couples never cross, however viewers will watch as the couples are put through tests of strength in their marriage. Issues include fertility struggles, merging finances, major cultural differences and family drama. Whose love do you think will survive?
I think it is awesome that Tina and her husband Tarz are contenders in this reality show. It will let the viewer in on things we don’t normally have access to via Facebook or real life.
Bravo TV has the following description about Tina Sugandh and Tarz Ludwigsen for the reality show:
Tina is an Indian international pop star who has recorded with everyonefrom Timbaland to Ringo Starr and performed at the “Indian Grammy Awards.” Tarz, a former model turned “tech geek,” ispresident/co-founder of a start-up web company, Pandoodle. Between Tina’s rising success in music and Tarz’s focus on his business, thecouple has struggled to find time together over the years. They hopegetting married will change that, but find it may be easier said thandone. Sex is a stressful issue due to Tarz’s long work days and the pressure of trying to make a baby. With Tarz constantly bumping heads with Tina’s traditional father, family problems also contribute to their marriage.
Check out my super fabulous interview with the sassy and sophisticated Tina Sugandh:
How did you first get into performing?
I started performing when I was just five years old with my family, the Sugandh Family! My mom, dad, sister, Seema, and I all sang in seven different languages and played instruments and my dad is also a hysterical mimic, comic, and MC. My parents worked at their full-time jobs during the week, and my sister and I studied very hard in school, and then every weekend we would all take off and have this magical family-bonding Bollywood weekend! After graduating with a Dean’s List Biology degree, I got my first record deal. That led to my songs being on soundtracks such as Around the World in 80 Days, Christmas with the Kranks, Ice Princess, Raise Your Voice, and The Clique, as well as singing the theme song for Kelly Ripa’s ABC sitcom “Hope and Faith”, and my songs on the Billboard Charts, etc.
It’s definitely been a long road with many ups and downs, but I’ve recently had many unreal experiences that I’m very grateful for such as singing and playing on Ringo Starr’s album, and then going to Ringo’s again for a family thank-you lunch-which was home-cooked Indian food by the way! There is actually footage of Ringo being incredibly funny as I show him what the Indian drum“tabla” is all about on my youtube site.
Your mother was a huge inspiration to you; unfortunately she lost her battle with breast cancer. How did she influence you and what is your fondest memory of her?
My mom was the center of my universe. Rather than being angry and bitter though, I’m just grateful for every single second that I got to be around her. I would say the most obvious influence she’s had on me is “music” as she had the voice of an angel, and she is the reason “The Sugandh Family” toured our whole lives. I would say the most important life-lesson she left me with was to simply be positive and happy, and to see the good-and only the good-in everything and everyone. She was always smiling, singing, laughing, dancing-even when she was losing her battle with cancer. Remaining positive through something like that speak volumes, as it makes all our other problems and issues seem trivial. My fondest memory is just laying in bed with her and gabbing the night away. She was truly my best friend.
How did you and Tarz meet?
There is actually a fun video that Bravo shot of us about how we met! àhttp://bit.ly/ZF4vjO We basically met through my older cousin, who used to work with Tarz. He used to tease her and say that he really wanted to meet that “hot” Tina-cousin of hers from the music videos, (though he really had zero interest in me but just enjoyed playfully teasing and annoying her). She was not worried about introducing us, since she knew I was only interested in marrying an Indian (since I figured no non-Indian would put up with my daily Bollywood music and my Indian food and my addiction to Bollywood movies and all that!) So, she brought him to a party that I had when I got signed to Sony music. That night, Tarz says we had a deep and meaningful conversation, but all I remember is putting my hand on his pecs as I was talking to him and thinking “wow, these are some amazing pecs”. I mean, it was my Sony record deal party so naturally, I was wasted! Lol! Anyway, we ended up talking after that night and our instant chemistry was the most perfect and unbelievable thing I’ve ever experienced. I actually moved in with him on the first date which was completely the opposite of anything I’d ever dreamed I would do, and we had our Indian religious ceremony pretty much right away-which was over five years ago now in January of 2008. I thank god we had that ceremony right away because my precious, angelic mom, (who danced away like crazy that day in Jan ’08), tragically passed away later that year.
What attracted you about Tarz?
I guess what attracted me initially to him was that we were just incredibly similar as far as our sense of humor, family values, outlook on life, ambitions and goals, and so much more. It was so easy and so much fun to just be totallyme around him. He’s not the type to be a macho douche of a guy and play games and all that BS. He’s just very real, and that was very attractive to me!
What was the first thing that went through your mind after meeting Tarz?
Honestly, when I first met Tarz, I did that thing that you’re not supposed to do as far as judging a book by it’s cover. I figured from the way he looked that he was just some dumb surfer dude, since that’s what he looks like! Lol! I learned my lesson though since his looks are the least impressive part of him by far. He is just incredibly kind, with a beautiful heart, an extremely intelligent mind, ridiculously hard-working and ambitious-and superficial “looks” actually mean nothing to him. He sees “looks” as fleeting and unimportant, and understands that it truly is all about the inside. The great thing about that for me is that I never have to worry about him thinking I will be any less beautiful if I get in a car accident or become ill. The bad thing about that is that when I get all glammed up for events, I look no different to him then when I wake up in the morning!
Why do you think so many people are obsessed with watching the intimate parts of people’s marriages played out on TV?
We are all so different in this world, so I’m sure there are all different reasons that people are now obsessed with reality TV!I’m sure some people are sadly just bored and unhappy with the day-to-day monotony of life, while others simply find it entertaining to watch how the “crazies” of the world behave. (I guess I just indirectly referred to myself as a “crazie”. Lol). Some probably feel better about their own lives by watching these shows since so many of them include “train-wreck” moments, and then there is that whole voyeurism aspect. Or maybe it’s as simple as there’s a person on the show they think is hot. I’m not quite sure why reality TV shows in general have taken over the world though as it’s insane to me! Although, I probably shouldn’t say that considering I’m starring in one! Lol.
Were you and Tarz nervous about going on a network like BravoTV, as it has a reputation of causing problems in people’s personal lives? For example look at the Real Housewives Franchise. The producers are constantly starting up trouble for ratings. Heartache=Rating Gold. How do you feel about your relationship being tested? How do you think you will survive the constant media scrutiny?
Thanks to Tarz, this is honestly the first time in my entire life that I am at a place where I don’t care what people think of me. I still have insecurities and I am nowhere near perfect, but Tarz has taught me that no one else’s opinion of me matters besides those that truly know who I am, such as my family. Being around Tarz’s “life is short so don’t let anything bring you down” mentality gave me the courage and security to be on this Bravo show, as I’m sure there will be quite a bit of smack talk! We’ve had a year filled with some really tough and tragic moments, which I’m guessing will translate into tons of drama and insane moments on the show-which means those haters will have plenty to feed off of!
A lot more footage is taped than viewers actually see. Are you concerned about being unfairly judged or scrutinized? How do you explain what goes on behind the scenes to viewers who are strongly opinionated.
So true! We filmed for a little bit over a year, and they somehow magically smashed that all into 8 episodes! It is seriously unreal! Anyway, I think being unfairly judged, scrutinized, and misunderstood is just part of being on a show where you put it all out there. Tarz has been such a blessing in my life for teaching me not to care what people think. Whether you are on a reality show or not, you can never please everyone so why try? Just be the best version of yourself that you can be, and feel sorry for insecure haters that will smack talk and try to bring you down. In fact, now days, when I get smack-talked, my first instinct is “poor unhappy insecure person that has to put me down in order to feel better about themselves…I just want to give them a hug”. That was not the case before I met Tarz, where I just wanted to punch these peoples’ lights out! Lol!
Do you have any regrets about doing this reality show? Would you do it again, if asked?
I have no idea what to expect as I haven’t seen the episodes yet! I can say that Tarz and I had a pretty insane year with some very dramatic and tragic moments though, so that may be tough to watch for me. Overall, the crew was absolutely incredible, and the producer, Lauren Lazin, was an absolute dream, so yeah sure! I would do it again! As far as regrets in general, if I had a time-traveling machine that could fix things I may have regrets about life choices I’ve made in the past. But what’s done is done, and so the only choice we have is to better ourselves from our past mistakes! Was this show a mistake? I guess I’ll have to watch and see!
What advice do you have for single women who are struggling to find dates?
Ok, so dating around sucks. I hated it, and Tarz hated it. But if you have a long-term relationship in mind, my advice would be, do the work, go on those dates, and do not settle for mediocrity! Some lucky people may find their true love right away, but I’m thinking most, such as myself, just need to stick it out until they meet “the one”. I’ve dated a few different types with the hope that it would turn into marriage-only to find that either our ambitions didn’t match up, or after the attraction died down we didn’t have that “best friend” chemistry (that I personally believe is the key to longevity), and I even dated one that was a pathological liar! Yeah, I’ve paid my dues! Lol! It was scary to not find “the one” because I was getting older and older! But honestly, this is the rest of your life and I thank the stars literally ever day that I waited and found Tarz.So my personal suggestion is to find your best friend. I personally do not believe in mediocrity, and I need to be “head over heels” happy on a daily basis, and who you marry can really make or break you!
(Monica Marwah is a 30-something single school psychologist who enjoys living life to the fullest. She is taking her experience and showing others how to believe in themselves and love themselves completely. After years of dating and meeting people, she has come into her own. Spirituality has been a foundation for self improvement for her and she is hoping to encourage people to embark upon a spiritual journey at this age.)
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