Aahana Kumra recalls Covid isolation made her question her sanity: 'Anything happened and I would scream, throw fits'

Nov 29, 2022 02:06 PM IST

Aahana Kumra, who plays a pilot dealing with loneliness in India Lockdown, opens up on her own bad experience with isolation.

Upcoming film India Lockdown highlights the problems various people across the country faced during the second lockdown imposed nationwide in April 2020. Aahana Kumra plays a commercial pilot dealing with loneliness and claustrophobia during that time. Aahana talks about depicting what many consider a ‘first world problem’ and her own experience with isolation during Covid-19. Also read: Prateik Babbar sees playing migrant worker in India Lockdown as tribute to Smita Patil

Aahana Kumra talks about how India Lockdown addresses mental health.
Aahana Kumra talks about how India Lockdown addresses mental health.

Aahana admits that on the face of it, her character’s troubles may seem too small to many. The other characters in the film are migrant workers walking hundreds of kilometers back home or a sex worker left with no money. Talking about her character, she says, “This can be a first world problem but it’s a real problem for many people. It still needs to be addressed. It is incredible that this is not even supposed to be a problem in this country. If you are seeking assistance for mental health, you are considered paagal (crazy). I am glad this film puts forward that conversation.”

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Aahana Kumra plays a pilot in Madhur Bhandarkar's India Lockdown.
Aahana Kumra plays a pilot in Madhur Bhandarkar's India Lockdown.

Aahana faced loneliness and isolation for the first time when she was diagnosed with Covid-19 and had to be in quarantine. “Thank goodness, I had a reference,” she says with a laugh, before clarifying that she as a person is very different from her character, “I do believe that during the pandemic, these conversations did come forward when people spoke about mental health and being lonely. I have been alone many times but I am not lonely. I do reach out to people.”

But her experience of isolation was not a pretty one, she admits. “Having said that, when I was in isolation, I was very anxious. I had never experienced anxiety in my life. I remember getting out and I was very riled up. Anything happened and I would scream, throwing fits. And I would wonder what has happened to me. I started questioning my sanity. I would ask why I am behaving like this. I realized I was being rude to everyone at home. It was not me. You do realize that your mental health gets affected,” recalls Aahana.

Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, India Lockdown also stars Prateik Babbar, Shweta Basu Prasad, Sai Tamhankar, and Prakash Belawadi. The film releases on Zee5 on December 2.

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    Abhimanyu Mathur is an entertainment journalist with Hindustan Times. He writes about cinema, TV, and OTT, churning out interviews, reviews, and good old news stories.

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