For me, the lockdown has been a sort of blessing in disguise: Nawazuddin Siddiqui
There’s no doubt that the lockdown brought along its share of problems, besides the fact that people have been cooped up at their homes. But Nawazuddin Siddiqui is clearly in no mood to complain. He says: “Isme koi doubt nahi hai ki pandemic/lockdown bahut saare logon ke liye pareshaaniyan lekar aaya. And that’s why so many people, in general, complains about it but I look at it as a sort of blessing in disguise.”
The Kick (2014) actor goes on to explain: “Earlier, where was the fursat to just sit, talk and enjoy such great time with your loved ones. The same holds true for me too because the lockdown has given me an opportunity to spend quality time with family, especially my mother. Mumbai mein toh din kahaan chala jaata hai pata nahi chalta, as you are always running around for meetings, and shoots etc.”
Siddiqui has spent a majority of the lockdown days between his village, Budhana (Uttar Pradesh) and Dehradun (Uttarakhand; his younger brother stays there). “I have done farming (at his family-owned farmland), watched some great movies and also spent time with my nieces and nephews. Aur kya chahiye? It’s surely been a very difficult time for everyone but aapke paas do hi options hain: either, you keep complaining, or try and look for some positives. I prefer the latter,” says the actor, who watched movies starring “some of his most favourite actors” such as Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Day Lewis, Ricardo Darin and Tony Leung among others.
Work-wise, the Hindi film industry may have started to move again in terms of shootings etc., Siddiqui is no hurry. “I am a kind of person, who moulds and adjusts according to the given situation, so I was fine with loads of work, and I am also okay when there’s been no shoots etc. Iss samay safety aur survival sabse zyaada important hai. Jab waqt aayega toh kaam bhi kar lenge,” says the actor, who has had a steady stream of projects -- such as Ghoomketu, Raat Akeli Hai and Serious Men -- coming out during the lockdown, on various OTT platforms.
“For me, the medium has never really mattered. Even now, if people are able to watch my work on a streaming site, why should I complain? It’s a new space and I am enjoying it. Even audiences, who were happily consuming a particular kind of formulaic, happy-go-lucky fare, have got exposed to quality world cinema that, in turn, has moulded their taste in a big way. And that’s great news for actors like me. I feel once all of this (Covid-19 pandemic) settles down, people’s perspective and outlooks towards things, and even life, will alter in some way,” says the Manjhi: The Mountain Man actor, who will next be seen in films such as Bole Chudiyan and Jogira Sara Ra Ra.
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