It has been a busy year for actor Pankaj Tripathi, 44, notwithstanding the slowing down of production due to Covid. This includes release of web-series Mirzapur 2, marking his return as Kaleen Bhaiya. His performance in recent movies Gunjan Saxena and Ludo has also been widely appreciated.
What precautions do you take to stay Covid-free?
I have not been on the sets much during this period. When I do step out, I maintain physical distancing if not social distancing. Since I live in Madh Island and my building society is not very crowded, we don’t have to worry much. However, I am particular about wearing a mask whenever I leave home.
Have you got yourself tested for Covid-19?
I had to get the test done while shooting on three-four occasions. This has become a pre-requisite before any shoot. I had some work remaining for the show Criminal Justice. So, I had to shoot for 10 days in August. That apart, I had a one-day ad shoot.
How has your life changed during this period?
For the last three years, I have been shooting round-the-clock. I got a break from that and had the opportunity to spend time at home. Initially, I was not used to video chats so much. Now, I have learnt. My wife and daughter, who are more tech-savvy, help me out when I have any trouble.
When will you resume shooting?
In January, I will shoot for a new film in Mumbai. The project is yet to be announced.
While interacting with people at work, what precautions do you take?
The entire unit goes through Covid test and that’s reassuring. There is a team to ensure sanitisation is done properly. Oxygen level and temperature of everyone in the unit are checked. Still, one has to be careful.
How did you spend this period of isolation with your family?
I have been cooking and enjoying meals with my family. I mostly make simple vegetarian dishes like dal, chawal and bhujia, which is a staple diet in Bihar. I spent a lot of time with my daughter and realised that she has developed a good sense of humour.
Do you take any specific precautions while you travel?
Earlier this month, we travelled to Goa. We were bored and thought of going on a short vacation. Since we travelled in our own vehicle, I didn’t have to worry much.
How do you keep your mind off the pandemic?
How is that possible? Anyway, I have been doing yoga for two hours and reading a lot. Recently, I read a book by Praveen Kumar, Anurag Pathak’s Twelfth Fail. I have got some new books that have been published by Rajkamal Prakashan and Rajpal & Sons. Since I have read most of the popular titles in Hindi literature, these days I look for books by young and contemporary authors.
What is the first thing you want to do when the pandemic is past?
I want to travel freely, without any fear. I want to explore different parts of India. I can pick any destination — mountains, a desert or a forest.x
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