When we should have concentrated on human contact, we focused on virtual reality. Now we are left with no choice but to embrace our virtual reality, said the National award-winning actress.
Shutdown Stories: Spreading positivity is the need of the hour, says Sudipta Chakraborty
Kolkata - 26 Apr 2020 19:30 IST
Updated : 27 May 2020 18:30 IST
Actress Sudipta Chakraborty has been creating a buzz on social media platforms with her videos with daughter Shahida while they remain at home in the current countrywide lockdown. The actress is worried and a bit disillusioned by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, she believes that spreading positivity is the need of the hour.
Along with doing all the household chores, in which she normally gets the assistance of her domestic helpers, whom she has given leave now, Chakraborty is also making sure her daughter has something to take away from these seemingly apocalyptic days.
While her husband, filmmaker Abhishek Saha, is in charge of cooking duties, Chakraborty has been trying to manage the rest of the household. “My daughter is extremely energetic and finds it hard to sit still for long," said the National award-winning actress. "It's not that I stay out the whole year and give her no time. I generally have long gaps between shooting schedules and give her a lot of time. But now she cannot go to school, nor can she visit her friends nor can she attend her drawing or swimming classes.”
Since Shahida loves to be surrounded by people, Chakraborty has taken it as a motto to develop something productive for her that she looks forward to every day. In the videos, Shahida can be seen in different adorable attires, dancing to her mother’s singing. In another video, Shahida is singing alone while drawing. “Now, every morning, as soon as she gets up, she asks me, 'How are we going to be dressed today? What are we going to act today'?”
While keeping her daughter engaged, the actress has also started deriving positivity from these activities. “It is a grim situation and with all thoughts regarding the crisis, my head feels heavy," Chakraborty admitted. "The times are unforeseen and trying. Hence, it has become important to stay positive and infuse positivity in Shahida as well.”
The actress uploaded the first video just for fun. But then she thought that perhaps she had unwittingly begun to spread positivity among people. Now viewers wait eagerly every day to see Shahida and her mother come online.
On 22 March, when prime minister Narendra Modi declared a countrywide 'people's curfew' and asked them to applaud doctors and health workers that evening, people in many parts of the country not only turned it into a celebration with mass gathering and noise pollution, but also flouted the very objective of the curfew, which was physical distancing. The worried actress, who initially supported the prime minister's initiative, decided to go live on Facebook and express concern regarding the lack of awareness in people.
“I was feeling very restless," she said. "I am not a very tech-savvy person and I don’t usually go live just for the sake of entertainment. But I thought it was urgent to speak about some issues as I have more than 93,000 followers and 5,000 friends on Facebook. I thought if these people could convey the thoughts to a certain number of people, my purpose would be served.”
But now she thinks, the live videos are turning into adda (chat) sessions for people, who are clueless as they cannot go to work and are forced to stay indoors and follow the news on COVID-19 all day. “Also, when you know that many people are watching something together, it automatically creates a sense of security," she said. "For example, that day more than 600 people watched the video and I am sure all had a community feeling then as we are all in isolation now.
“Now more people are asking me to come live often as they find it a vocal tonic. When we should have concentrated more on human contact, we focused on virtual reality. Now we are left with no choice but to embrace our virtual reality.”
Chakraborty came on live on 24 March again following the prime minister's announcement of a countrywide shutdown for 21 days. She also sang Rabindranath Tagore’s 'Ebar Tor Mora Gange', a patriotic song, to encourage people to stay strong in this collective fight against COVID-19.