Lara Dutta: Life really is right now, so laugh and love
Actor-model Lara Dutta emphasises the relevance of living life in the present. She plans to celebrate her birthday, today, in the same spirit, after losing a close friend to Covid-19, recently.
Actor and former Miss Universe Lara Dutta turns a year older today, and she has promised her 8-year-old daughter Saira the best party ever amid lockdown. But, the realisation to live her present to the fullest stuck Lara after she lost a US-based family friend to Covid-19, recently.
In a telephonic interview, Lara tells us, “We lost a friend of ours in mid-March to Covid-19. He was somebody who had absolutely no health issues, so it wasn’t one of those stories where you think that coronavirus only attacks old people, or anything like that.”
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This sense of loss made Lara aware about how transient life is. “From the time that we last saw our friend, he was literally gone in 17 days; and if nothing else, it made me realise that I’m refusing to put my life on hold, waiting for this to pass and then deciding to pick it up and live it. You have no guarantees in life! We are all healthy today, praise God. However, you don’t know what tomorrow holds. I don’t know what the situation will be three or five weeks or a month from now, when this lockdown is lifted. So, life really is ‘right now’ and you must make the best of it, which means laughing, loving and having a great time,” says the 42-year-old.
Lara also shares what her daughter has planned to make the birthday special. “Right now it’s just the three of us – Mahesh (Bhupathi; her husband, former professional tennis player), Saira and me — and I’ve promised Saira the best lockdown birthday party ever! So, she is in charge of all the decorations, and she has decided to bake brownies, and God knows what not. We just pulled out all the old birthday decorations that we have had from her previous parties, which Saira has hung over our living room; she has also found some hats and birthday whistles. We have figured out how to get a cake from someone who is delivering cakes... I’m happy that we are healthy!”
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To use her time constructively during the lockdown, Lara has opted for online courses, and even meditates twice a day! “Its been great; I’ve had a fantastic meditation practice. And I’m doing two online courses from the Harvard University, so I’m studying along with my daughter,” says Lara, who feels that it’s essential to engage kids at home when practising social distancing. “We have been baking and she’s a better cook than I am! Yesterday, we had a disco party dance-off between us, and the father was the judge! These are ways to make her feel being locked in is not such a bad deal after all. Saira is kept occupied, especially by her dad. She is in school till 2.30 every day, and then both of them train in tennis. In normal circumstances she would go play tennis about five times a week. We have a garden and a yard, so her father has got her hitting the balls against the wall, he has got her doing her drills since we can’t have the instructor come here. She has also been doing all her cartwheels, splits and hand stands. A routine has been put in to place for her, and it’s really great because most of the other co-curricular classes that the kids used attend in school are also being done online. So, she has a very active schedule and is quite occupied. But, at the beginning of the lockdown, Saira was very excited that mum and dad are both home. After a month now, she is kind of looking out the window, standing by the window, obviously wondering why she can’t get out, why she can’t see her friends or cousins. So it’s harder when you’re dealing with a child who has been kind of locked down and locked in,” adds Lara.
The actor on her part is working from home. “During the lockdown, in the first couple of weeks, I cleaned out every single cupboard, drawer, and cabinet in the house. It was spring cleaning so I took things that are not required or could be donated... Mahesh never has a problem helping out with chores, half of the time he doesn’t really know what to do, but this lockdown has taught him a lot, which is a good thing! Both Mahesh and I, are working from home. We work out together. Every alternate day, Mahesh and I take it upon ourselves to come out with a routine, so we are like the drill sergeant and I run a very rough boot camp! I’ve still been taking meetings, listening to scripts, working on the production end of things. We had a show that was coming out in mid-April, so that’s been pushed a little bit, but it’s still coming out at the end of the month… life sort of continues, and finds its way of keeping you really busy,” she concludes.
Author tweets @FizzyBuddha