Independence Day 2018: Anushka Sharma, Varun Dhawan take pride in the power of unity in diversity
Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan, stars of upcoming movie Sui Dhaaga, celebrated Independence Day together and talked about their film.bollywood Updated: Aug 15, 2018 11:54 IST
They represent the ebullient and passionate youth of India. Probably that’s why, besides their fun and playful side, Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan – like the youngsters of the country – aren’t afraid to air their views openly about India, and their idea of freedom. Interestingly, in keeping with the theme of their new film, Sui Dhaaga – Made In India, the actors shot with the handmade tricolour that has been created by various artisans from different corners of India. “It’s our way of celebrating Indian craftsmanship which is famous the world over,” says Varun, while Anushka adds: “The Chikankari thread-work (saffron) from Lucknow, Kashida style (white) from Kashmir and Phulkari needlework (green) from Punjab have been combined to create the flag.” We catch up with the two actors about their take on independence, childhood memories and more.
What does independence mean to you?
Varun: For me, it means freedom of thought, choice and making your own decisions. Woh bahut important ho gaya hai. You know, my niece was born a few days back and it’s great to see that instead of telling her what’s right or wrong – like parents usually do – my brother and sister-in-law are letting her understand things by herself. So, a child can choose what path she wants to walk on and what she wants to do in life. I feel that’s the true form of independence.
Anushka: I agree. Kids are the future and if you raise them in the right way, you are adding value to the society because you have one more person whose thoughts are right. Ultimately, it’s the thoughts that have to be free of any kind of burden as that’s what pulls us down. To me, the idea of independence is to be free from things within me which pull me down and don’t allow me to reach my full potential and grow – not just as an actor but as a human being as well. Also, at the core of it all, is the fact that every human being is only looking to be free. That’s why it is such a big deal and therefore, all countries want to be independent.
Right now, the whole idea of freedom is being debated upon in the country even as we see incidents of lynching etc. Since you two represent the country’s youth, what’s your take?
Varun: Obviously, it’s very troubling to hear of such things. No one wants their nation to be looked at in that manner. As a proud Indian citizen, I will fearlessly say that I am against such abhorrent deeds. At the same time, there are also a lot of good things, which happen in our country.
Anushka: The way I look at it is that ultimately, what you do on a personal level has a lot of power. So, when it comes to me, I am a vegetarian and don’t eat meat. But at the same time, I am not going to force that ideology upon Varun or someone else.
Varun: Yes, you can’t curb someone’s freedom.
Anushka: Like Varun said, you are of course saddened by such things. It’s not okay to take law and order in your hands in any part of the world. But I feel what I do individually – as a human being – matters, and that sets an example and sets off a change of some kind. But change is very difficult; it’s the hardest thing when you try to create that change in yourself. But do it yourself, and when everyone decides to do it on their own, you will create a record movement. That’s the way I look at it as I find that the sanest way of leading my life.
According to you, what are the good things about our country?
Anushka: To me, it’s the sheer diversity – in terms of people, languages, cultures and even terrain – of India. I don’t see it anywhere else in the world. We should value it because it has always been our strength. Plus, we are extremely passionate, emotional, adaptable, accommodating and accepting people. And all of it – over centuries – has become a part of our DNA.
Varun: I agree with Anushka. The sheer diversity is possibly the greatest power that India possesses. And it’s great that we have seen unity in that diversity during any kind of natural calamity or other problems. That’s just amazing and heart-warming to see. There are lots of positive things about India; we have a beautiful country, so should also focus on that.
What are your earliest memories of Independence Day?
Anushka: I remember flag hoisting ceremonies in school and also parades wherein I had to hold the baton and pass through the saluting base where our principal would be seated. Also, as a kid, I used to be very happy ki August 15 ko chutti hone wali hai. That was the best thing. Also, we would be excited because usually, August 14 would be half day [at school].
Varun: I used to be in the school band. I still remember the tune that would be played [on Independence Day]. In fact, I ended up breaking one or two drums but I still continued to play (laughs). Also, I enjoyed making the tricolour in our drawing books in school.
Nowadays, how do you celebrate Independence Day?
Varun: These days, wearing traditional clothes – at least in big cities – has become like a cool thing to do. Also, I feel we celebrate festivals more for the social media and on the social media. But I love listening to patriotic songs on radio.
Anushka: Not just Independence Day, I think – in general – we don’t really celebrate festivals any longer. We are always busy with something or the other in our lives. Usually, our films are up for release around festivals, so we are absolutely consumed with that. You also end up watching some great documentaries, films or historical programmes about our country. You also get a break, and that’s a huge thing. So, it’s a chilled out day.
This Independence Day photo shoot [with HT] has been done with a special flag. Both of you must be excited about it?
Varun: In a way, the idea [of a flag made by various artisans from across India] brings everyone in the country together, so it’s special. While working on Sui Dhaaga – Made In India, we came across and interacted with a number of these artistes and karigars; and realised that what they are doing is unbelievable.
Anushka: I think these elements [handmade flag] have been beautifully worked upon and the idea itself is very unique that has worked really well. In fact, I was very moved when I heard these ideas in the meeting. You know, when we were shooting in Chanderi (Madhya Pradesh), one guy told us that he finishes work on one sari in 25 days. Can you imagine?
Varun’s familial celebrations!
My mum (Karuna Dhawan) gets a number of flags [on Independence Day] and puts them up in all our cars. Even now, my parents wake up early on Independence Day and wear Indian attire. Also, aloo-puri and halwa get cooked at home, so they celebrate in their own way. My dad’s [David Dhawan] birthday is on August 16 so we ring in his birthday on the Independence Day and tell him, ‘now, you are free. Ek din hai tumhare paas, jo karna hai karo(laughs).’
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First Published: Aug 15, 2018 10:55 IST