Anushka Sharma: During the first six months of our marriage, we spent 21 days together | Sunday Observer

Anushka Sharma: During the first six months of our marriage, we spent 21 days together

 The last time Anushka Sharma was at our shoot location, Elsewhere, in Goa, she’d spent a day with her husband, the Indian cricket captain, Virat Kohli. A secluded reserve in Mandrem, its exact location remains a well-guarded secret. And it’s this privacy and the property’s proximity to the beach that attracts power couples (Brad and Angelina are said to have holidayed here before separating).  

Our shoot was, of course, pre-pandemic—when travel restrictions and lockdowns had not yet been imposed. But coronavirus had entered our vocabulary enough to cause the beginnings of worry for what lay ahead.

 On the day of the shoot, Sharma took charge, putting the crew at ease with her cheerful disposition. Perhaps it is her army upbringing, or the years of effectively dealing with unwarranted (sometimes verging on absurd) criticism she has faced ever since her relationship with Kohli became public.

 “Living in the moment is the only thing that makes sense to me now, it makes me feel calm. The minute I start planning or thinking of the future, I have to bring myself to the present and deal with what I have to deal with right now,” says Sharma.  

And right now, even in lockdown, there’s a lot going for one of India’s top actors. Fresh off the success of Paatal Lok, her debut web series as producer, which released on Amazon Prime mid- May, she’s already plotting a possible second season of the crime thriller. At her home in Worli, she is isolating with her cricketer husband, and their quarantine shenanigans have kept the world entertained. But social media is just half the story.  

 Pre-lockdown, between changes at our shoot in Goa, Sharma would be seen sneaking in a quick video call to Kohli, a daily ritual, given the amount of time they usually spend apart. “People assume when I’m visiting Virat or when he is visiting me that it’s a holiday, but it’s really not. One person is always working,” says Sharma. “In fact, during the first six months of our marriage, we spent 21 days together. Yes, I actually calculated. So when I visit him overseas, it’s to squeeze in that one meal together. It’s precious time for us.”  

Things have changed since. At the time of writing this, India is slowly beginning to ease the lockdown and these three months have given the couple uninterrupted time together like never before. “It’s nice to know that there’s a silver lining in any situation in life... We would have never gotten to spend that much time every day with each other,” noted Virat in an interview with Star Sports.  

The couple is cognisant of their privilege, and in this time of strife and suffering, Sharma doesn’t take her position lightly. “Whatever little inconveniences I have had to face in these few months is insignificant compared to what so many others in our country are facing—people are unable to go home, some are struggling with loss of income and home, others are facing starvation even as many more deal with their loved ones being unfortunately struck by this disease,” she says, when we speak in early June. “I’ve always been realistic, but now more than ever I am understanding the meaning of life.”  

In their characteristic style, the duo sprang into action in the face of the pandemic, making donations to COVID-19 funds set up for the underprivileged as well as contributing to the Mumbai police welfare fund and even auctioning cricket equipment to raise money for the poor along with South African cricket captain AB de Villiers.

 “I’ve been very introspective over the last three years. I don’t want to think that my only value is what I’ve achieved in life. Peace of mind is my priority and I’m happy that I have become more compassionate and less judgmental,” she says, from her time in isolation.  

Next month, she hopes to be back where she belongs—on a film set. “Our industry is very good at taking precautions to ensure the safety of the cast and crew,” she says about the move that is likely to help daily wagers in the film industry get their livelihood back. “Going forward, the atmosphere on-set will definitely be different, but we all need to embrace these changes as we know there is a good reason for them. We owe it to each other to stay cautious during this pandemic.

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