Soha Ali Khan is locked in her Mumbai apartment with husband Kunal Khemu and daughter Inaaya, and has been giving us glimpses of her quarantine life through social media posts. Amid the pandemic, the author of The Perils of Being Moderately Famous spoke to indianexpress.com about her life in lockdown and more.
How is the lockdown treating you?
There are good days and bad days. Initially, I have to admit, I was slightly worried about how my family and I could possibly stay indoors for so long. Plus, it gets a bit overwhelming. But time at home, with no social contact, has also given me more time than ever to bond with my husband and daughter, and learn new things. Together, we have been reading, cooking, exercising and playing indoor games and, quite frankly, it’s been very enjoyable.
How are you keeping yourself busy these days?
My lockdown routine is pretty much similar to any mother’s! I’m busy taking care of my young daughter and keeping her entertained while teaching her too. I’m also ensuring my family and I don’t lose sight of our health by keeping a close eye on what we eat and making sure we exercise for 30 minutes every day.
I love reading and during this time, I have also begun reading children’s books aloud – so my daughter learns something new, and I’m hoping she too picks up the habit when she’s older. Sometimes I also involve her when I try my hands at baking; recently, we tried baking a spiced almond jaggery cake at home, which turned out quite well indeed.
The pandemic has also given us a lot of time to self-evaluate. Is there any life lesson that the current situation has taught you?
Yes, definitely! The current situation has really made me realise the value of life, and how blessed I am. I’m grateful to have the love and support of my family, the people who have spent their life caring for my family and their needs, and all the people who are still out there fighting this pandemic.
Ever since people have started staying indoors, we have seen peacocks walking the streets of Mumbai and pollution levels going down. Does this situation change anything for you, personally?
As the world has receded indoors, we have seen a lot of instances of nature healing itself – whether it’s lowered air pollution, healing of the ozone layer, rare wildlife sightings, or reduced water pollution. I seriously hope, once we are back to our regular life, we continue to maintain this balance with nature, and don’t reverse all these positive changes.
Sustainability is a way of life for me , and I have been practising this for a long time. A lot of my focus is on avoiding wastage and to ensure this, I have incorporated small changes like reducing electricity wastage, reusing older items around the house, using water with restraint, segregating garbage while disposing, or feeding stray animals and birds with leftover food.
In keeping with the Instagram trend, have you tried doing some cooking or baking? What is your favourite home-cooked meal?
Under normal circumstances, I don’t cook. But I have been experimenting since the lockdown and I do love to try out new things. It turns out I love baking and it also turns into a fun family activity.
I personally believe that nothing can be compared to a home-cooked meal! Since I am very conscious of what my family and I eat, I have been keeping a close eye on what’s coming into the house even during the lockdown.
What are you watching these days on OTT platforms?
I am not a big fan of OTT platforms. But I do keep an eye out for interesting shows and currently, I’ve been bingeing on Fauda, Ozark and Billions. Besides these, I prefer listening to podcasts or audiobooks. However, since my daughter loves watching movies, I am watching a lot of kids’ content these days.
What is the one thing that you make sure of including in your diet?
For me, almonds are a must-have. I start my day by having a handful of soaked ones in the morning and consume them through the day at regular intervals. I have also come across quite a few global studies that have demonstrated the health benefits of regular consumption of almonds across heart health, diabetes and weight management and this has inspired me further to make sure my family eats them every day.
Do you feel post this pandemic, people will be more aware and thoughtful towards the underprivileged as well as nature?
Honestly, I am already beginning to see this change. It’s heartening to see how people across the world are helping each other in whatever way feasible for them. It’s also lovely to see how appreciative people are of the changing environment around them, and am very hopeful we will come out of this being more mindful, empathetic, and unified than ever.
Any suggestions for our readers on how to stay positive and productive?
The best way to stay positive and happy is to take it one day at a time. The current situation can be overwhelming as we have been home for many weeks now. But it is most important to stay positive. Time is a gift, and even more so now – as many of us are getting to spend so much time with our family – something we might not have had as much of earlier. So treasure that, and learn to see the positive in everything; your life will be much happier and your productivity will automatically go up.