Netflix’s festive rom-com, ‘Christmas As Usual,’ presents the audience with the love story of an intercultural couple. Thea is from Norway, while Jashan is from India. They are happily in love and get engaged to each other a few weeks before Christmas. The problem, however, is that Thea has not told her family about Jashan, let alone the engagement. Over the Christmas holidays, Jashan tries to impress Thea’s family, but everything seems to work against him. What makes the whole thing even more interesting is that it is based on a true story.
Thea Evjen and Jashan Joshi are Loosely Based on Real People
The story of Thea and Jashan in ‘Christmas As Usual’ is loosely based on the story of director Petter Holmsen’s sister, Mia. About three years ago, she introduced her family to her boyfriend, Akshay Chawdhry, at Christmas, and, in Mia’s words, the “inconvenient timing” made her question everything as she watched her larger-than-life Indian boyfriend trying to mingle with the Norwegian culture.
Akshay hails from Kolkata, India, and was on a flight when Mia sat next to him. According to his mother, he’d always complained that he was always sitting next to some old man or someone who wouldn’t make for an interesting company. That time, however, he and Mia spent the entire flight talking to each other, and by the end, they’d made an impression on each other, which would later blossom into a relationship. When Mia introduced Akshay to her family, it was a struggle in the beginning, but eventually, they came around to each other.
Talking about the film, Mia confirmed that the characters are based on her and Akshay. However, they are “very loosely” inspired by them, and a lot of things in the movie are made up for dramatic purposes. The feelings, however, Mia said, are pretty real and remind her of the feelings she had when she introduced Akshay to her family.
Where Are Mia Holmsen and Akshay Chawdhry Today?
Having survived the awkward first encounter where both Akshay and the Holmsen family tried to find a way to adjust to each other, Akshay and Mia decided to tie the knot. They got married in November of 2022. At the end of the movie, Jashan mentions that the wedding is to take place in India. This is in reference to Mia and Akshay’s real-life wedding (two weddings, to be more accurate), which took place in Goa, India.
The couple now lives in Oslo, Norway, and moved into their new apartment in November 2023 with their two dogs. An alumnus of the University of Essex and Hult International Business School, Mia is the CEO and Co-Founder of a sustainability consultancy company called YouSustain. She is passionate about “making ESG approachable” and “helping companies build and strengthen their in-house sustainability competencies.” Before this, she worked as an Associate Manager of Climate Change & Sustainability at CEMAsys.
Akshay Chawdhry works as an Operations Specialist at Elkjøp Nordic and has previously worked at Dunnhumby as Senior Retail Capability Lead and Citi as Assistant Vice President. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Global Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from New York University. Apart from Hindi and English, he also has a workable knowledge of Bengali and Bokmål Norwegian. Much like Jashan at the end of the film, Akshay is now on great terms with Mia’s family, and they often spend festivals together.