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Neena Gupta On Being Locked Down In Idyllic Uttarakhand



Ever since  Neena  Gupta  re-invented herself as  an actor, she  has  also   been  constantly   evolving as an individual  and  an influencer.  Her  videos during lockdown  on yoga and  cooking are  immensely popular.

When I   catch up with Neena she says, “I am at peace with myself in Mukteshwar ,Uttarakhand. My husband and I  have our home in an apartment  block here. There’s hardly anyone here, so  we  can take  a walk, or just sit on the deck and in the   garden gazing at  the  lovely mountains. I am lucky to have  reached here  before the lockdown started.”

Neena who  was last seen in  the well-received webseries Panchayat, says she follows  a disciplined lifestyle in lockdown. “I am very comfortable  here. And I feel really guilty about the fact that there are  so many  families in  Mumbai locked up in tiny apartments with  nowhere to  breathe freely. Guilt   hota hai, touch wood.I wake up early  have  my  tea, do yoga from  8 am to 9 pm. Then I have my breakfast. Then I  plan lunch for us, check on groceries…storing  the  groceries is a problem , so is  the  number of clothes  which are very limited  and have to be washed repeatedly and worn. The morning goes in my daily chores.  In the afternoon I take  a nap, then  I  read. I just read Ravi Rai’s The  Tattoo On My Breast, the  new  Jack Reacher  novel  Bluemoon and  Kristin Hannah’s The  Nightingale.We watch a  lot  of films and serials  in  the night. I’ve watched Succession, Money Heist, The  Two Popes, Mystic River and  of course  my own Panchayat.Then there are lots of video and telephone  interviews to promote  Panchayat.”

Neena  says she is changing her lifestyle. “My brand  of  shampoo got over toh koi baat nahin. I am making do with whatever  is available here. I am using  Lifebuoy soap instead of  my regular brand.And I like it! There is  only one grocery store in Mukteshwar and  the  owner  brings all the grocery home. He  even  gets us  our medicines.”

Neena is  experimenting with her  culinary  habits.  “My husband and I are cooking up something new every evening for ourselves, just one dish every evening.Out staff prefers  the dal-chawal so we  eat and cook out own dinner. The  other night we cooked and at Pasta.”


As far as  getting  more sleep is concerned Neena says, “I thought I’d be able to sleep more over here so far away from the hustlebustle of Mumbai.  But I am not getting sleep.There is an anxiety  about  the situation in the country. But  I was thinking that the  situation is not intolerable. I mean we have such a  long life. If we are forced  to  be confined  indoors for  a month or two months, it’s not such a big deal. It’s not  like we are in jail . We have everything…Aisi koi  badi baat nahin.Humein aadaat nahin hai andar rehne ki issi  liye shock sa  lag raha hai. Just keep reminding yourself that this  too  shall pass. Jab saadhe-saati aate hain  toh saadhe-saat saal bura time rehta  hai na? And someone rightly observed, Nelson Mandela was in isolation for 27  years. This is  not  so terrible for us. It is really bad for daily wagearners.  I want to  urge  my fans to help them as much as they can. Hamare din utne  burey nahin hain jitney  ke unke.I can only help financially  from here. But  I want all those in the cities who can feed the poor  and help them in any way , to do so.”

Neena’s  advice  to fans? “Learn something new . I never did gardening. I started here  . Now  all the  plants  and trees have  flowers  on them.”

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