Gabriella Demetriades: I thought I was in love, but then I had Arik
New mom Gabriella Demetriades talks Arjun Rampal, getting back into shape, and why her son is the best thing in her life
It's been just a month since South African model Gabriella Demetriades gave birth to baby boy Arik Rampal, and the new mother is glowing. Dressed in cargos and a white vest, she doesn't even need make-up to look dewy fresh, when we meet her at her clothing store, Deme by Gabriella, in Bandra on a hot Thursday evening. The post-baby weight is almost out of the door, but she says, she still has 10 kg to go. "I lost 11 kg as I was leaving the hospital, as Arik was almost 5 kg. Since then, I have been breastfeeding, so I am not on any special diet, but I am eating healthy and nutritious food. I never stopped working out anyway. My water broke while I was playing tennis," says the 32-year-old, who says she had been doing yoga and working out throughout the nine months.
Demetriades and actor Arjun Rampal, 46, had been dating for a year when the stunning model took to Instagram and announced her pregnancy on April 23 this year. She posted a black and white picture of herself and Rampal, with her baby bump visible, and captioned it "Grateful for you two. Can't wait to meet you". Today, she looks content, happy and very much at peace with her life. "I was never one of those people who thought of having a baby. I am actually the youngest of my friends, and we would have conversations such as 'ok, is it time to have a baby yet?'. I would even look at people having babies, and think 'I don't know if I want to do this'. But it all happened very organically, and it may sound like a cliche now, but it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. I used to think I was in love [with Rampal], but then Arik happened..." she laughs.
The Instagram picture announcing the pregnancy
Speaking of love, the baby mama, who admits to freaking out about the baby, says it was Rampal who kept her sane. "All during the pregnancy, which was hard, my mother would tell me, 'wait till you see the baby'. While Arjun has done this before, and so, was calm, and was with me every step of the way, I didn't have a reference point. I think he is going to be a great dad. He is so hands-on that sometimes I say 'give me my son back'," she says of Rampal, who has two teenage daughters, Maahika and Myra, with former model Mehr Jesia, with whom he is separated. The girls, Demetriades says, can't get enough of their baby brother. "They love him. I see the relationship they have with Arjun, and it's one of respect but they are friends too. I wish to have the same one with Arik when he grows up." Ask her what Arik means and she says it means ruler of rulers, but then laughs, "That doesn't mean we think our baby is the ruler of rulers. But Arjun being such a nationalist, said 'I want my baby to have a Hindu name', and I wanted something that was easy for my family to pronounce, so we settled on Arik. But now, people are asking me 'is it Eric?'," she says.
For now, her life revolves around her son, whom she spends the bulk of her mornings with, and her other baby—work as a model and designer. If she was going through business reports in the hospital, she is now back in action, taking meetings and getting things done. She sums up, "I think having a baby makes you a nicer person, for a while at least. But it also makes you more disciplined, because you now have this person, who becomes a priority, and you will shape up your life around them."
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