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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The year 2020 was of realisations and improvisations: Bhumi Pednekar

"In the pandemic, I learnt to self-prioritise, and even made the life choice of turning vegetarian," the actor told indianexpress.com recently

Written by Prerna Mittra | New Delhi |
March 25, 2021 12:30:55 pm
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Bhumi Pednekar is keeping busy with back-to-back shoots. But she takes some time out to talk about things she is really passionate about — things that matter to her the most, and those that should matter to everyone.

The Sonchiriya actor, in a recent exclusive interaction with indianexpress.com, talked about all things health, fitness, climate change, her love for pyjamas, and her pandemic experience thus far. It made for a riveting conversation, one that gave us a peek into her life, and showed us some never-seen-before sides to her personality.

Excerpts:

How have you been coping with the pandemic, in terms of keeping yourself occupied — creatively or otherwise?

In the initial days, I was left thinking about how I am going to cope. But it has been all about family and spending quality time with loved ones. My interest in cooking, learning the ukulele or even just learning about the beauty of Indian roots from my mother, kept me occupied. Learning to self-prioritise and even making the life choice of turning vegetarian has certainly been eventful. On a more experimental and fun side, I tried my hand at makeup techniques, with all the inspiration that I got from beauty influencers; I’ve enjoyed every aspect of learning this art. Other than this, I also made sure I stayed healthy and fit by working out and practising yoga every morning.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bhumi 🌻 (@bhumipednekar)

If you could summarise the past year in a sentence or two, what would you say?

The past year has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride for many, and so was it for me. But now, in retrospect, when I think about it, it has been a year of realisations and improvisations. It has personally taught me how I shouldn’t take life for granted and prioritise health and family each day.

Being someone who’s always been away for shoots and busy for long hours, it was a task at first, but I slowly learnt the art of savouring quality time with family and myself. It was a blessing to get the time to find joys in small things and re-prioritise life, which otherwise I would’ve missed.

Take us through a regular day in your life — how does it start and what is the first thing you do every morning?

I start my day with a cup of methi water, which is good for health and skin; personally, it makes me feel fresh and wakes me up. We often forget the power of Indian kitchen ingredients, but it’s been the go-to in our house. After that, I start my workout with mild in-house exercise and yoga. This rejuvenates the body and calms the mind, giving me the best start. The weather has suddenly shifted from chilly to sweltering hot, and I sometimes feel like I am catching a cold due to this, so my mom always insists I practise steam inhalation with Vicks Vaporub to keep my health in check.

Your social media is proof that you deeply care about the planet. What is the minimum that a person can do to save the environment?

Personally, I feel the earth nourishes and sustains us by giving us food and all the resources for life. While we rely on the planet for our living, we forget to take care of it and the more we ignore this, the more the planet will become polluted, which will have a harmful impact on our health.

 

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A post shared by Bhumi 🌻 (@bhumipednekar)

This planet is an integral part of our lives and I feel it is our responsibility to take care of it. One thing I personally practise and encourage my friends and families to do is to avoid littering and avoid the use of plastic. This isn’t just the bare minimum, but the need of the hour that will help us and our loved ones to live a healthy life, while also preserving the environment for future generations.

When it comes to fashion, you are one to carry both western and ethnic outfits with ease. What is it that you personally prefer?

I’ve always picked comfort over style, it’s been my natural preference and I’m more comfortable in Indian wear than anything [else].

 

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A post shared by Bhumi 🌻 (@bhumipednekar)

In the lockdown — with having nowhere to go — people embraced pyjamas and comfort clothes. Did you do that, too?

Yes, I loved the pyjama phase which was super-comfortable and when I’m at home, I just want to be in my comfort space without worry, and pyjamas always gave me that feeling. In fact, they still do. But being an avid follower of trend, I experimented with various styles and looks. Occasionally, I would dress up a little, just to boost energy and mood.

 

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A post shared by Bhumi 🌻 (@bhumipednekar)

Tell us about five of your best wardrobe picks/must-haves…

My wardrobe is all about comfort and pampering. I personally am not a very choosy person, but here are my must-haves:

* My favourite pair of blue jeans that fits in the most comforting way.
* The cotton kurta of mine that I can also sleep in.
* The beautiful pair of earrings stolen from my sister’s wardrobe.
* The white t-shirt which can never go out of fashion.
* My black Converse that just is a saviour when I need to get out of the heels.

The pandemic made people focus on their health and hygiene. What are some of the basic things you do to stay healthy?

Sticking to your traditional roots and following home remedies has been my secret to leading a healthy lifestyle. There’s a lot of goodness treasured in the simple kitchen ingredients, and therefore, I’ve always relied on them since childhood.

So, some of these practices are eating seasonal and fresh vegetable dishes cooked at home; I even like my salads with home marinades, as it has a cooling effect on the body. Regular exercise and yoga for the mind and body is another thing that helped me a lot. Apart from this, if I develop a cough and blocked nose, I take my mom’s advice and practise steam inhalation with Vicks Vaporub. This traditional practice is simple: just add 1-2 spoons of it in hot water (not boiling water) and take in the medicated steam. It gives fast relief from blocked noses and cough.

 

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A post shared by Bhumi 🌻 (@bhumipednekar)

Can you share a few simple fitness and health mantras with our readers?

The three basic things I follow and would recommend are:

1. Exercising every day. In fact, even during the lockdown, I tried home-workouts and yoga to keep the momentum. Though with the shoots, I find it difficult to make time, but working out is important and something I would recommend for everyone.

2. A healthy diet, as it’s important to eat right to keep one’s body happy and fit. I make sure to include various kinds of proteins and minerals to my diet, the source being seasonal vegetables and fruits. A simple Indian diet is also my go-to for a healthy meal.

3. Also, steam inhalation has been a part of my life since I was in school. Especially for the days, I wake up with cold or cough symptoms.

In our country, it is almost expected of women to take up the bulk of home responsibility, while also meeting professional goals and deadlines. As such, how can they prioritise their physical health and mental well-being?

We’ve reached a time where work in every industry is very demanding and time-consuming just like the one I’m a part of. And while it’s true that responsibilities have just been rising, one thing I’ve realised in the past year is that one needs to take a break and focus on the well-being of body and mind. Being an achiever myself — who wants to be the best at everything — I know how hectic it can be for us as Indian women. My mantra has been to take those breaks and spend time doing things that are not only fun, but also help me relax. For me, it’s as simple as whipping up a face mask with my sister and just laughing at the same old jokes!

 

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A post shared by Bhumi 🌻 (@bhumipednekar)

What is it that you are really looking forward to in 2021?

I’m looking forward to the world’s healthy restart, for vaccines to reach every soul. Moreover, for the entertainment industry to come up with interesting and fun projects that will help put a smile on a million faces.

Any interesting travel plans that you have for this year?

Nothing as such. I’m an impromptu person, but after the past year, we all need a small refresher. But if I do plan one soon, it won’t be to an exotic place, but somewhere in India where their economy depends on tourists. It makes sense that we all contribute in our own ways to restarting our economy.

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