"We will come out of it," says a calm and composed Suniel Shetty, when we asked him about the way India has been handling the COVID-19 till now. As everyone is sitting at their homes, reflecting thoughts and realizing where we went wrong, we took the opportunity to ring Suniel and have a frank chat with him about the pandemic, how he is contributing to the society and what he thinks about the road ahead.
Suniel starts the chat by praising Government's efforts and says, "The way India has handled the situation has been commendable, right from our honorable Prime Minister to our Chief Minister. Numbers will of course rise, because is the nature of the virus and we have a huge population, but we have been proactive in our approach. I don't think we will see the kind of deaths in India, which we are noticing globally." Click the link below to hear the full AUDIO:
We then ask Suniel if people in his area and society are stepping out. The actor says, "Not at all. Everyone is thinking alike. There was some civil work going on in our building and we have retained all the boys within the compound and made arrangements for their stay in our basement itself. We are also looking after their daily needs. All the 120 members of our building are thinking on the same page and every one is aligned. Otherwise these workers would have been walking towards UP, Bihar and Bengal without work. It's unfair to blame government for leaving migrants stranded, because it's the builders, businessmen and their employers who have left them stranded. It's easy to wash away your hand from them because you pay them on a daily basis. I feel the community of builders and their employers should collectively think about them, I know they are going through a tough times too. My own business is, I don't know if I'll be able to sustain for 3 months, but that is for everyone. We are pressing a reset button and if we have to start afresh, then that's how it is, you can't do much about it."
The conversation then steers towards a bit of philosophy but Suniel gives logical and practical reasoning for it. We ask him if he thinks Mother nature is punishing the human race for the exploitation of the environment and he replies, "Yes, it is a punishment by nature. I blame my generation and our parents, who have exploited mother nature to the maximum. We have cut trees, ruined environment, polluted the planet, have been eating anything and everything moving- so it's us who have destroyed it and are paying for it now. Also, our current generation are far more aware than us, they are honest and want to live the way they want to, they don't talk about wealth and show of wealth. I hope these scars remain to remind us that it's not about running all the time.
Our kids are not running behind anything, they are going back to how their great grand fathers lived. They want to travel, they want to use Ubers instead of their own cars, cycle to work. Our generation was running behind wealth like no one did. Humne 40 films ki ek saal mein, aaj ki generation poore career mein nahi karegi itni, because they want to take time to prepare for it and take it light, while enjoying life. They are going easy."
The talented actor also speaks about how we are going back to our roots and the world is also acknowledging the same, "Who knew what our neighbors were up to till now? Ab toh we know everything, we are keeping a tab. In one way it is good. In India, everyone is talking about Namaste, Ayurveda, spice healing and Yoga to combat this. Today, the world is giving healing examples of Indian spices- Turkish and German chefs are recommending it. We are going back to our roots."
Throwing more light on the fading habit of greeting one another with a Namaste and instead being accustomed to hugs and kisses, Suniel said. "This is what the western world taught us and now are going back to Namaste. It will be retained and will stay for a long time now. Many people asked me in the past, 'Suniel, whenever you go on the stage or meet people, you do Namaste, why is that?' I always told them and still believe that I have been the most comfortable with a Namaste all my life."
Ask him if he thinks now people will refrain from the hugs and kisses, and Suniel quips, "It should decrease, it's high time it did because anyway it's so fake."
We then ask Suniel if he sees the lockdown ending on April 14, as announced by the government and he says, "I don't think so. It will take 2-3 weeks more. The cycle has still not hit India. Migrants will move, settle, the wave will hit its peak and then flatten out. I am positive about it. We have a strong immunity and our Govt. is proactive. We are eating hot and fresh food. No one is ordering from outside, which is improving your gut and in turn your immunity. Which means that there will be times, the virus may hit you and go out as well, and you won't even know.
The conversation then came to an end, with Suniel praising the change and the way Indians are getting accustomed to this better way of living. "When have you ever noticed Indians being so disciplined? In our history, we were taught to clean our hands and legs and then enter the house. All this was always there, we decided to break the rules, and now we are going back to how our forefathers lived. Mere ko kabhi yeh nahi pati rehta tha ki ghar mein gas hai ki nahi, ration ka kya samaan hai, kya nahi hai, ab mujhe ghar ka chodo, apne building ke poore supply ka pata hai which is a huge learning for all of us. We are cooking one thing for everyone, no one is cooking ten dishes for different people, so there is less wastage of food. It has been a huge education for all," concludes Suniel.
Image Source:- Instagram/suniel.shetty
They say the best things in life are free! India’s favourite music channels 9XM, 9X Jalwa, 9X Jhakaas & 9X Tashan are available Free-To-Air. Make a request for these channels from your Cable, DTH or HITS operator.