Danish Husain:The post-pandemic world will be a very different place, sans handshakes and hugs
“Jaise beemaar ko bewajah qaraar aa jaaye.” Stranded in a Detroit suburb in the US amid the lockdown, Danish Husain is his usual poetic self, quoting a line from Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s quatrain, as he mulls over a “wishfulness, a hope, that before the situation really goes south, some unexpected nature’s intervention curbs this pandemic for us”.
It was on March 8 that Husain reached the US, where he was due for talks across universities and Qissebaazi performances. But it all got cancelled. “ I went a little earlier because I wanted to spend time with my sister who lives in Michigan before I plunge in to my performances and talks, but I guess my sister was slated to get a greater pie of my visit here,” he quips.
Like everyone, he also wishes to be back to a life he’s used to, but understands “that’s a long shot”. “The post-pandemic world will be a very different place certainly sans handshakes and hugs place,” says the actor, whose presence across the OTT world with Bard of Blood, Taj Mahal and Yeh Ballet got social media users to call him the “new Radhika Apte”, which he found “both bemusing and flattering”.
“Radhika Apte is a phenomenal actor, I’ll be delighted to get quality work with the regularity she gets,” adds the veteran, who is using this lockdown time fruitfully by reciting his favourite poems through social media.
“I was still in early days here in my trip but becoming certain that I’m here to stay for a while, when on a conference call with two dear friends I got hauled up for being a sloth and wasting my time... During that conversation I casually threw this phrase, ‘A Dastango Stranded In America’, and it got stuck,” Husain adds, recounting how the idea for a social media series struck him.
While this is helping him leave a record for younger artistes where they can see how one should develop a relationship with text, it’s a new learning for him too. “I’ve never performed online, or done live streaming before,” he says, as he gears up for more performances, some that are fundraisers too for marginalised artistes who’re facing compete loss of income due to the lockdown.
“All I’m trying to do here is to connect people willing to donate or help to these people or providing the correct information to those who are willing to reach out and help others. And he points out, “Often help could be a kind word, a hello, just a drop of a smiley in someone’s chat box, or a phone call. Whatever makes the world a bearable place is welcomed,” adds the actor, who’s also spending time between memorising new poetry, reading books, and at times watching OTT series.
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