The differences Asim and I had ended even before exiting the house. But somehow, we haven’t been able to meet till now, actor Sidharth Shukla said in an interview after Bigg Boss season 13 wrapped up. Pictures of drenched Asim Riaz sitting quietly amid the rains at Mumbai’s Oshiwara Crematorium on Friday pushed us into thought spirals of times when Shukla and Riaz teamed up to drive their housemates crazy.
Remember when Shukla told Riaz, “I saw myself in you”, or when the duo almost wrote a thesis on ‘paratha’ while telling actor Dalljiet Kaur to make one for Riaz? The mischievous, not-so-hyped bond seldom made headlines, but did leave an impact on a section, who are proud to call themselves ‘SidSim’ fans.
Riaz’s elder brother Umair felt ‘SidSim’ was special. During family week, when he entered the Bigg Boss house, he told Shukla, “People outside love your friendship. And I felt that like I’m his elder brother, you are playing the same role inside. Both of you are quite similar. Both are aggressive and both need to mind their words.”
Riaz too admitted that he’s had some best memories with Shukla inside the house. “A task was held inside (the activity room), I won that task. I came out and gave my medal to Sidharth saying bhai yeh tere liye hai (brother, this is for you),” the 28-year-old model from Kashmir told Shilpa Shetty on the show.
Most fans of Shukla would agree that their hearts skipped a beat when the duo fought for the first time inside the house. The admirers couldn’t bear to see the two threaten each other: “Tu bahar nikal, dekh lunga (Come out of the house, I’ll see you)”. However, like fans, the duo was assured that the banter is restricted to Bigg Boss house.
Later, Riaz said that anybody in that situation would react in the same manner. “But everything is fine now. Before coming out of the house, both of us were laughing while recalling the things we said to each other,” he told a news channel.
While Shukla and Punjabi actor Shehnaaz Gill were often spotted by paparazzi, very few fans saw ‘SidSim’ again. But Shukla did tell a national daily that his bond with Riaz is “much cooler now”.
He even congratulated the 28-year-old model when he made it to the list of ’50 most desirable men in India’. “Impressed with @imrealasim opening his account at #17 on 50 Most Desireable Men in India, congratulations,” Shukla tweeted. Appreciating the gesture, Riaz replied, “Hey @sidharth_shukla I Hope you doin well. Thank you.”
Pictures of a tensed Riaz in white t-shirt and a black mask moving around Cooper Hospital on Friday awoke those fading memories in every fan.
Many on social media slammed paparazzi for hounding Shukla’s family and friends as images of Riaz sitting numb at the crematorium and a visibly disturbed Gill breaking down emerged on television screens.
Some fans prayed for their well-being, while others posted clips of ‘SidNaaz’ mixed with B Praak’s ‘Ve tu mainu chhad jaana’ that did prick in our hearts deep.
— RIP SIDHARTH SHUKLA (@Princess1Khushi) September 3, 2021
Little tribute from my side to #SidharthShukla on his favorite song.I have tried to collect all his happy memories(1980 - Forever)#SidHearts #AsimSquad pic.twitter.com/vgp6XtyhcF— Hasan Khan (@IamRealHasan) September 4, 2021
May be music director Anu Malik’s brother Abu was right when he said Shukla protected Riaz. “Sidharth actually protected Asim and made him. Asim was slowly and steadily gelled into the show because he was naïve, and a simple young boy,” he once said.
Having faith in the duo’s bond despite the fights in the second-half of the show, ‘SidSim’ fans knew their friendship was till eternity.