What are some of the biggest challenges you faced working at home during this time?
Actually there were no challenges working from home other than attending some panic calls from patients and pacifying them. It helped me to realise and be prepared to face the situation and not allow it to overwhelm me.
How difficult is it to adjust to the new reality?
The important thing is to accept the situation, come to terms with it and realise that this is something that it is going to be around for a while at least. Once that is done, it’s no longer a difficulty. On the flip side, one of the benefits of staying at home is that I have been able to almost complete two of my film projects – one to be directed by Sathyan Anthikkad with Jayaram as the lead and another to be directed by Lal Jose.
How did you and your family spend time? Favourite activities?
Since my family is India at the moment, they are enjoying the security of being together. Early on, since the beginning of the pandemic actually, I decided not to watch news on television mainly because there is so much of negative news these days. I also made it a point not to view or share negative/pessimistic social media forwards. Instead, I use my free time to catch up on some series on Netflix, Amazon and E life. I also have a huge pile of unread books which I am determined to finish. I also don’t stint on exercising to get over the guilt of spending time watching TV.
What are you doing to manage the anxiety that is stemming from the pandemic?
I am a firm believer in the philosophy that a person’s emotional health is an indicator of their susceptibility to diseases.
Fear acts as a magnet attracting infection. So one of the best ways to shore up our in-built natural defensive mechanisms against communicable diseases is to improve our emotional health. The stronger and healthier we are holistically, the greater our ability to keep diseases at bay. To that end, interacting with positive, optimistic people and consuming positive content on the various media platforms are some ways of preventing the anxiety from the pandemic from taking over your life.
What are some of the things you miss the most from your life when Covid-19 had still not affected us?
I am one who travels frequently between India and the UAE. I have a homoeopathy clinic in my hometown in Kuttipuram in Kerala and offer consultation there regularly a few days every month. I also visit India in connection with discussions on some of my film projects. However, this Covid-19 has completely upset all my travel plans.
Now that the restrictions have lifted considerably, what are the lessons you plan to take forward from your time during the stay at home?
Lifting of restrictions is a crucial decision taken by a wise authority. I appreciate the courage the authorities have shown at this time. We need to learn from the lessons we faced during the stay-at-home period and be responsible and disciplined in this new situation.
What have you learnt about yourself during this trying time?
One of the greatest lessons I have realised is that there is no point in rushing through life. Everything can wait. We need to slow down a bit and not indulge in this rat race. Another take away from this pandemic period is that if nothing is under control, just relax. Things will get better.
What will be your favourite memory from this experience?
Solitude gave me an opportunity to go down memory lane – to reflect on some personal memories, of my childhood, of time spent with friends while growing up, of my departed parents...
One lesson you think the world should remember from this experience.
Being a part or a cell of nature, we need to preserve our personal ecosystem (our inner world) and prepare ourselves in terms of physical, mental, emotional, social and financial challenges of a post-pandemic world.
Any books you are reading at this time.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari; Power of Now; A New Earth Eckhart Tolle and a few Malayalam books.