October Actress Banita Sandhu Who Lives With Her Family In Britain Tells Subhash K Jha About Life During The Lockdown
Hi, where are you and how are you coping with the lockdown in the UK?
I am away from London in a relatively safe place. It’s a small town in Wales called Caerleon, in Usk!I’m quarantining with my family at home in the countryside. I decided to get out of the city and the best place to be in a time like this is with family. I decided to use this time to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do but never had the time when I’m working. So I’m playing the piano again, painting, drawing, reading more books and doing online language courses.
Is all this activity far from the madding crowd keeping you calm?
I’m trying not to spend too much time thinking during this period otherwise you’ll go mad! This time is perfect but watching a lot of stuff though. I’m currently binging on Succession on HBO and Dirty Money on Netflix.
Are you working from home?
I am an actor. With my profession, it is difficult to work from home but at the same time, as someone who is self-employed, my job has always been what I choose to make of it, whether I’m on set or off. This time is no different and there’s always things you can do to improve your craft, binging movies, watching master-classes online, listening to podcasts, learning an accent, improving my Spanish/Hindi, mastering a musical instrument. I’m learning to play the violin as I have to learn it for my next film. I also have conference calls with my agents every couple of days to regroup which also helps me keep focus.
Are you eating and sleeping more than usual?
Honestly, not really. It’s so important for me to keep a routine so I always go to bed, wake up and eat meals at the same time every day. If I’m hungry, I’ll snack! If not, then I won’t. I’m not overly cautious about how much I eat. I just listen to what my body is telling me! I try to eat as healthy as possible. It’s so important to keep your body nourished and immune system strong, especially with Coronavirus.
What is your advice to people who get impatient with the lockdown?
Nothing can prepare you for this. It’s important to acknowledge that everyone has their own struggles during times like these. Some people don’t have happy homes to quarantine in, daily wage earners aren’t protected, vulnerable people are suffering gravely from the virus, health workers are risking their own lives by working long and tiresome shifts.
What about the psychological damages caused by prolonged isolation?
Yes, many people’s mental health can deteriorate in the given circumstances. My advice, even in this time of social distancing, is to be kind to yourself and one another. Help those in need in any way you can and that complies with the quarantine requirements set up by the government. Ironically, I hope that social distancing will evoke more empathy in the world because we need it today more than ever.
True, I agree with you. Your message to India?
Stay safe. Stay calm. And come back to the movie theatres when this is over.