Last updated on: March 24, 2020 at 9:33 pm IST
The zipping and zooming of autos, cars, bikes, coupled with the honks, is a cacaphony Anupam Kher has been used to outside his house. But then he steers your attention to the sound of birds chirping in a video where he’s practising social distancing with his long-time friend Anil Kapoor amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Describing the video in which Kher is seen in his balcony, and conversing with Kapoor via video call, as a Romeo and Juliet-like scene, he says, “The luxury of being friends for so long is that you have a sense of humour. But this is also our way of telling the world that it’s important that even though you’re friends for 40 years, you need to fulfill social obligations. This social distancing today will bring the whole world together tomorrow.”
As exercising self quarantine is resulting in a profusion of self-made online content across creative streams, Kher says, “Basically, Bhagwaan ne laath maari hai and bola hai ki, ‘Behave like humans, don’t become God’. It is God’s way of saying ‘Don’t get into my area’, because human beings have started thinking of themselves as Gods. But one small virus called corona has put everyone in their places… on a mass level worldwide, itni badi learning nahin ho sakti thi.”
Calling himself an “eternal optimist”, Kher adds, “Even in the worst situation, there’s a possibility that some goodness will come out of it. This is an overhauling of the world, and I think we’ll cherish nature more.”
The 65-year-old returned to India from New York on March 20. And he’s all praise for the security and safety measures being taken by Indian authorities. After going through a fever check, filling out health forms, and getting the ‘Home Quarantine’ stamp, he decided to stay away from his loved ones.
“At a certain point in life, you’ve to take decisions which aren’t just for your own good, but for the better of people around you,” adds the actor, who did a video call with his mother, and whose wife Kirron is busy with the parliament.
Also, he feels celebrities have to “become role models” and have an added responsibility as it’s taking people time to register that “something like a virus can affect the whole world” at a time when advanced technological breakthroughs have been made. Nevertheless, he’s proud of how people are following instructions. “It’s not just the fear of getting the virus, it’s also the realisation of how small you are in the scheme of things,” he comments.
How does he plan to spend time at home? “Getting rid of things that I don’t need. Getting rid of extra baggage, extra thoughts, just putting life together. God has given the whole world time to simplify their life, whether it is in thoughts or in materialistic things,” says Kher, via live online chats as he feels “this is the time when people are in the mood to listen”.