Sonu Sood, who is currently busy with the shooting of Telugu film Alludu Adhurs, spent most of 2020 helping stranded migrant workers reach their hometowns during the lockdown.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
How was your 2020?
2020 has been special. I have been fortunate to come in touch with so many people. We exchanged stories and I’ve realised the force that lies within all of us. These experiences have changed me for good and have made me more compassionate than ever. This is a journey that I am going to treasure for a lifetime.
Did you anticipate that your work during the pandemic will become so inspiring?
We started with organising food drives. And then I moved on to helping stranded migrant workers. It is just that the visuals of people walking a hundred miles to their hometowns kept haunting me for days and nights. I thought it was my duty to help them. In the process, I received immense love and respect from all quarters. They have honoured me with the title of a messiah, a superhero. A couple even named their newborn after me. I think I am really blessed.
You took on trolls and even gave funny replies to many on Twitter. What kept you going in such extraordinary times?
I have never worried about trolls. I believe that it is the empty vessels that make the most noise. It is very easy to sit behind your computer screens and keep passing comments. But I am a positive person, and I looked at them as comic relief in the middle of my hectic schedule. What kept me going are the smiles on the faces of the people after they reunited with their families. Some of them sent me videos after reaching home.
How did you react when fans started demanding Bharat Ratna for you?
It was truly humbling and overwhelming. Bharat Ratna is the biggest honour that one can receive. That was a moment that made me sit up and be grateful for the opportunities. It has motivated me to keep working for the underprivileged.
Did you miss being on sets this year?
Acting is an integral part of my life, and I did miss being before the camera initially but then going out there and helping those in need took a lot of my time. But I got back on the sets after the lockdown was lifted. I shot for Alludu Adhurs in Hyderabad. And I realised how much I missed the sets and the whole process of acting.
Any show or film this year you wished you were a part of, and why?
Not to sound boastful, but I have had no time to watch anything. I have been hearing that we, as an industry, have come up with some amazing content this year and I cannot wait to catch up on them.
What change did 2020 bring in you?
2020 helped me value the small things in life. In our hectic schedules, we often forget to spend some quality time with our loved ones. This year has also been a lot about self-contemplation, and I’ve learned a lot about myself. I have been immensely inspired by frontline workers during the pandemic. My parents have always told me that with privilege comes responsibility. If we want to help someone, we need to do it now and not procrastinate. I’ve met so many people in the past few months and all of them have positively changed me in one way or the other.
One good thing you’ll remember about 2020?
The fact that I got to meet, know and interact with people from different walks of life. These interactions have not only changed my outlook towards life but also my life’s purpose. While 2020 has taken away a lot from us, it has also been a reality check. I think all of us should take this year in our stride and remember that our strength lies in being compassionate towards others.
How do you see your 2021 on the work front?
There is Prithviraj. I also have two South films, Alludu Adhurs and Chiranjeevi’s 152nd film. I am really looking forward to these projects, and I cannot wait to share them with my audience.
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