How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your life?
Never in my dream did I ever imagine that I will see what I am seeing today, what the world is seeing. It is very scary. But it has given me time to think and understand. I realized that we slept one night and woke up early in the morning and everything was so different. It is being said that Paris is no longer very romantic, New York is now not standing on its own and then all of a sudden the Great Wall of China is not a wall anymore.
What precautions are you taking to keep your family safe?
It doesn’t only come to me and my family now. It comes to the entire universe. I am trying to make people understand how important their life is. This is the moment when one has to be very serious about thoughts and sayings of Mr Narendra Modi. He might be having sleepless nights and he is asking for our help. He is trying to make people understand. Listen to him. I am listening to him and following everything that he is asking the entire nation to do. And mostly because of your family, they are your blood, they are close to you. He is more than 60-years old. He has to look after himself more than the nation. I intend to give up smoking. I am trying very hard. I gave up for a week. But then, I surrendered and I smoked a couple of cigarettes again. I don’t want to do it anymore. So on the contrary, my wife and my children are looking after me. I only tell the world, this is a time where we can fight this epidemic, this moment of horrifying terror, the virus- which cannot be seen but attacks.
How do you keep yourself busy since everything is in lockdown, anything that you are doing in this free time?
My wife is a spiritual person so she is into her spiritual crib. She loves praying, she loves God. It has given me time to listen to her. When she talks, she is like a Goddess, very pure. So I am learning a lot from my wife. I have done about 700 films and I didn’t even realize when my children grew up and they have become so big. She has given me time to know my children and them to know me.
We have divided into three sections in the house. I am very happy that everyone wants to be on their own- my wife into her prayers, Shraddha into reading and exercising, Siddhant is into social servicing at this point in time. In my section, every morning I put on the television, wishing to hear that everything is under control now. But nothing like this is happening. I am not getting very good sleep. I am very disturbed about what is happening. Sometimes I feel this is a bad dream. The world has become so scary. Even the strongest human being in this world is scared of death.
I have been watching a web-series and it has taught me about relationships, and humanity. In the evenings, I do some exercise. I have actually put on a lot of weight. My wife is a wonderful cook and I genuinely did not ever get time to eat good food during my working days. I have always eaten food in a hurry. Now, I am relishing the food. After every meal, I thank the almighty that I have never thanked before for what you have given us.
What do you miss doing the most during this lockdown?
I miss nothing. On the contrary, I have enough time to myself now. I was 20-years-old when I came to this film industry. I didn’t ever take a holiday. I didn’t get time to think about what was bad and what was good. So this has given me time to think. What I miss is the smiles of the people.
What message would you like to give to everyone during this time?
We should respect nature. We are not the rulers or the bosses, we are the guests. Let everyone become more pure and spread love. This is no war happening, but still it is a war. I pray to God this ends and when it does, the world has to start from zero, again. We will have a new world.