People have liked Four More Shots, season 2 very much…
Yes, people liked the first season as well. We have a very big fan following. Girls especially like it as it’s about four girls. The consumption of OTT content has increased currently. Especially in the lockdown, so the show is getting an added benefit. We are getting lots of compliments.
How was it bonding with your co-actors Manvi Gagroo, Bani J and Sayani Gupta?
We bonded quite well. While the first season gave us ample opportunities to know each other, during the shooting of the second season we connected more. I would say that this time our on-screen chemistry is better than what we had last time.
The series is being compared to Sex and the City…
It’s good that people are comparing it to Sex and the City. I am okay with the comparison. Sex and the city has been a cult show.
The show has been getting a lot of flak as well…
Yes, but it hasn’t disturbed me. While creating the show, we were aware that we will face a backlash as the show talks about several taboo subjects. I think it depends on the mindset of an individual — how he takes it.
Has playing Anjana Menon changed you personally?
Like I said in the show we are discussing taboo subjects, like body shaming, homosexuality, women drinking alcohol, and making mistakes in their lives. All these things have taught me a lot. It’s not just a show where I just do my work and leave. It’s personal for me to a large extent. It really taught me a lot. For instance, if you take sex — it’s not easy being comfortable around the subject. You have to be comfortable about your sexuality to be able to portray sex scenes without hiccups. And doing such scenes does affect you. Makes you more aware about yourself.
What does your typical day look like during the lockdown?
I don’t get time to think that I have nothing to do. I’m not fighting with what time I have. I get up by 8- 8.30. I have my cup of coffee. Then I do yoga, I meditate then by 11-11.30 I breakfast. After bath I do household chores, then lunch. Afternoon usually interviews are lined up. In the evening 5 PM tea. I eat my dinner by 7-7.30. Then either I watch something or I read something.
What are you reading these days?
I am reading three-four books at once. There is one called A Thousand Seeds of Joy: Teachings of Lakshmi and Saraswati, Close To The Bone, it’s Lisa Ray’s biography. Punjab, Punjabis And Punjabiyat by Khushwant Singh and The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak.
How do you keep yourself calm during this scenario?
Yoga and workout really helps. Exercise is known to provide relief to stress. If you are feeling mentally low or having anxiety, over what’s happening in the world, some exercise each day is really really good. I think it’s a good time for anyone who hasn’t explored meditation to start investing in it. YouTube has so many channels dedicated to it. You can just put on your phone or speaker and sit down and close your eyes. I know meditation sounds like a big deal to a lot of people. But it’s a great time to really start practising it. And I think spiritual books are also a good way to keep yourself calm.
Does a change of perspective help?
Definitely. It’s also how you look at the situation. Like there are some people who are fearful of corona. Precautions lijiye, par isko lekar darne ki zaroorat nahi hai (take precautions and don’t panic). Even if you catch it, it’s not fatal in most cases. You just have to follow the instructions of the doctors. I know people are getting extremely bored. People are so used to distracting themselves with so many things ki ab jab kuch bhi available nahi hai toh (when nothing is available) people don’t know what to do. It’s not easy but it’s really a great time to connect with yourself and surround yourself with good books, good music. And even if you are watching something, it should be something that keeps you in a positive frame of mind rather than adding to the already existing chaos in your head.
How do you keep yourself productive?
I am not trying to be productive. There is no need to be productive. That’s how I look at it. Itna time mujhe bachta hi nahi ki ye sochna pade ki is time ka main kya karun. (I don’t get that much free time that I have to think of ways to spend it). The best part about the lockdown is I don’t have to be productive. I have to do my job. Jo bhi aap kaam kar rahe ho usko agar aap apna 100% concentration doge toh productivity usme apneaap nikalkar ayegi — you just need to give your 100 percent to whatever you’re doing. That’s all.
Did you try your hands at attempting something you had always wanted to try?
I am learning Spanish on an app. I don’t cook generally. I don’t get time and I am not fond of cooking. But currently I am getting faster and better at it. I like cooking simple food. Like today I just cooked the whole lunch and made some alu baingan , moong ka daal, and rice. Last evening I made some pongal and it was one of the best things I’ve tasted. I love singing Bollywood songs. So I am trying to sing songs. I read books and have started writing a diary.
Which is the one web series or a film that you would like to recommend to all your fans to watch during the lockdown?
The crown on Netflix, I would highly recommend that. There are two limited series of HBO on Hotstar — Sharp Objects and Chernobyl. Apart from this Big Little Life is very interesting. It’s on Apple TV.