You celebrated your birthday on 9 April ‘virtually’ on the phone with your friends?
Yes! My whole family got on a Zoom call. That, I was expecting. I wasn’t expecting that there would be a slide show with photos of me from my birth to now. Then suddenly friends started joining in and I was like okkkkk! Then the elders left and some more close friends joined and everyone in their own zoom chat windows pulled out drinks and the party began! My sister-in-law Bhoomika Joshi and cousin Veda Shastri had been planning for weeks. Bhoomika had decorated the house. Another friend had come up with a fun quiz on my life! Every wrong answer meant a shot of what you were drinking. Bhoomika and her brother in Delhi and my brother Ishaan in Jakarta had prepared dance performances. A friend had baked a gorgeous looking cake in the USA and symbolically cut it for me. There were speeches and camaraderie and I felt absolutely blessed to be so loved and valued!
Birthday apart, how is the lockdown treating you?
Very well. In some sense, it’s an enforced staycation. I’m very lucky to have a safe, comfortable home with enough supplies for me and my pets. Luckily my cook and house help Bikesh stay in the house and is here too- so I’m not starving. On the contrary, I’m getting to eat well. Which is such a privilege in these times? I count my blessings and feel gratitude daily.
How are you passing your time?
The major part of my time is going tending to my pets. A rescued mongrel That I adopted just a few days before the lockdown. My responsibility in household chores is cleaning the cat litter, the dog poop, watering the plants and machine – washing the clothes. I am wasting a lot of time on Instagram and I keep planning to be productive and finish writing a script I’m working on but have had little success so far.
Is this a time of introspection for you?
This is a time for both introspection but also for observation, assessment, and understanding I hope. I’m not watching movies at all actually. I’m trying to read and write, if possible.
Are you doing your exercises at home?
Not at all! The only body part of mine that is working out is my digestive tract. I’m eating like never before! Perhaps it’s stress-eating or emotional eating. But it’s a no holds barred culinary fest at home! Carbs, sugar, junk food it’s all on the table!!!! Eating? yes, a lot. Sleep schedule is awfully disturbed. I sleep in shifts. I waste time on Instagram till say 4 am. Then I sleep 4-7 am.7 am I walk, feed, exercise and clean the dog. His name is Godot, he’s 6 months old and rather cute. Then I sleep again from 8:30am- 1:30pm !! It’s a mess!!!!
Your advice to fans, followers, friends and foes?
STAY AT HOME! Count your blessings, feel gratitude for the medical and essential services providers and police forces who are staking their lives to fight this invisible enemy. Take this opportunity to connect with your family and friends (on phone), appreciate those around you, do things in the house you normally wouldn’t have time for- clean your cupboard, spring clean the house.. play board games, read a book and learn to be at peace with yourself. Use video chat! Think of this as a break the whole planet is taking together. And remember, this too shall pass!