Betaal, Marzi and Lipstick Under My Burqa actress Aahana Kumra brought in her birthday on May 1 with cakes from friends.
“We didn’t want to bake anything since Rishi Kapoorji and Irrfan Khanji had passed away just before my birthday. But being with my sister her husband and their son Arjun, who is my best friend, made the day special,” says Aahana.
The lockdown has not been too difficult on her. “When the lockdown started none of us knew when it would end. We still don’t know. In spite of the talk of the lockdown ending there is no respite from the infection. But I’m not complaining. Two of my web series Marzi on Voot and Betaal on Netflix have been released. The response has been encouraging. It’s been a pretty rewarding time because I was promoting two of my shows while spending time with my sister and then moving back to spend time with my parents.”
Aahana watches a lot of shows that she wouldn’t have got the time to see otherwise. “When one is working round the clock one hardly gets a chance to see the work of other actors. I watched some fantastic work on OTT, actors whose work I really admire. Another thing I got a chance to do is pray. All of us had stopped doing that. I think this lockdown has made me pray and meditate, and these activities have lowered my anxiety level. You can call him Ooparwala or you can her Mother Nature. I have become a firm believer.”
Work continues from home from Aahana. “Promoting films from home on Zoom calls and Skype has been an experience. Everything that needed to be done I’ve done from home. I had to be very careful about not going out because my nephew is 3 and my parents are around 70. I had to make sure not to jeopardize anyone’s health.”
YouTube has been a great help for the workouts. “I’m grateful to all those who have posted workout videos on YouTube. They’ve inspired me to exercise at home. I have lost 1 kilo. So I’ve nothing to complain about.”
Aahana admits she is sleeping a lot more. “I don’t think I’ve slept so much since the time I started working. I also sleep in the afternoons these days, and that’s a habit I’ll find hard to kick off once shooting resumes. Right now I’m not rushed at all. I am also eating a lot of chocolates, I don’t know why! Otherwise I am eating healthy ghar ka khana, no junk food.”
Aahana’s advice to her audience? “This lockdown has not been easy for anyone. I’ve been lucky to be working from home. God has been kind, by giving me much to do. Some of my colleagues are not that lucky. They call me and break down on the phone since they don’t know what to do with their time. This is not an easy time, especially for those who are not living with family.”
Aahana is concerned about the number of suicides after the lockdown. “It is so sad when people say suicide is a sign of cowardice. That’s easy for people to say. They don’t know what that suicidal person is going through. I advise fans and followers to meditate or yoga. Rich or poor, we are feeling like animals in cages . We need to stay calm and yoga will really help.”
“I miss seeing my makeup Dadas and on crew Didis, my co-stars who are such dear friends. I wonder when I’ll see them again! I am in constant touch with all of my co-workers and helping them in every possible way. When I see people on the roads from my window and see children without slippers walking on the road. And I feel really miserable,” says Aahana.
What’s been the highlight during the last few days? “I gave my father a haircut and he hated it. Then I gave my mother a haircut and she thankfully, liked it. My mother is passionate about animal welfare. So we go down every day to the streets to feed stray dogs and cats. Everybody I have a mission. Like cleaning a cupboard, or scrubbing the kitchen. All three of us work out in the morning, then we go into our respective prayers. In the evening we go up to our terrace to soak in some fresh air. I read a book, do some yoga on the terrace. I have gone back to reading. We go into the kitchen and cook up something. It’s been time well spent with my parents.”
Aahana is proud of the entertainment industry. “They’ve all done their bit, whether it’s by making people laugh through their videos, or donating food, arranging buses, doing corona-awareness campaigns. What a fantastic industry I am part of!”