Unprecedented: this one word is enough to sum up the year that 2020’s been so far. The Covid 19 pandemic threw not just Bollywood, but the entire world into such a mayhem, that we are still learning to cope with it.
Alia Bhatt, summing it up, says, “It’s been a challenging year for all of us.” She had been busy round the clock just before the lockdown was announced — shooting for Brahmastra with Ranbir Kapoor, Gangubai Kathiawadi being helmed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and also giving final touches to her plans of becoming an entrepreneur.
The actor tells us what all she was up to in the lockdown period, “When I realised I had all this time to myself, I decided to use it productively, learning more about the different aspects of business and the market. And of course, I used the time to catch up on my reading and binge-watching content.”
Now that the restrictions have been lifted and actors have been getting back to work, Bhatt too returned to the sets of Gangubai. How does it feel being back on set after a long time, and how much has changed, vis a vis the working experience along with restrictions?
She says, “It’s a great feeling to be reunited with the team and being back on set. Of course, we have multiple restrictions and protocols to follow, everyone is very careful, taking all sorts of precautions. But we’ve accepted that this is the new normal, and we’re all trying to make the best of the situation.”
Ask her if she had any apprehensions about returning to work full time in the current scenario, the 27-year-old replies, “Like I said, we are all apprehensive, these are uncertain times but we have to make an effort and look at doing the best that we all can do. Also the ability to be back on set doing what you love is a blessing and I feel very grateful for every moment!”
The one thing she loves apart from of course acting, is supporting causes for the environment. In the past too, Bhatt, who’s turned entrepreneur with an eco-conscious kids clothing brand, Ed-a-mamma has been an eco-warrior, and came up with various initiatives. “Thanks to my sister Shaheen, I’ve always been concerned about the welfare of animals, even as a child. Growing up, I started reading more about what impacts the environment and I launched Coexist to learn, myself and to use my voice and reach so that others could benefit and learn as well. Realising that we’re all housing an environmental threat in our wardrobes, I started MiSu, which is a closet sharing initiative,” she says.
On what prompted her to venture into business, Bhatt reveals, “I was working on a series of stories about a little girl and her dog having different adventures, saving the planet from ecological harm. It was my way of nurturing a love of nature among children. And I thought what if we continue telling these stories, through clothes and toys and other products, all achieving the same objective. So I put together a team and we started working on this dream project and giving it shape.”
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