Tahira how are you beating the lockdown blues?
Like everybody else, I am trying to stay positive in the situation, trying to stay strong, and honestly speaking, our challenges are nothing as compared to what the migrants and labourers have been facing. My heart goes out to them. I want the situation to end at the earliest. At the same time, my heart is also full of gratitude and constantly praying for the protection of the entire humanity.
Has Ayushmann been helping you with your kids and chores during this lockdown?
Yes, he has been helping. I think all of us are doing everything to the best of our capabilities and abilities. He is bad with numbers so I have taken over that department of teaching maths. When it comes to teaching music, piano, and even Hindi, kids are learning that from him.
Since Ayushmann is locked up with you, are you making the most of the situation given how busy his schedule is?
This is the first time that the four of us are together for such a long time. So we are giving a lot of value to this time together. Of course, there are a few days when they are testing our patience and we are testing theirs. But overall there is gratitude. We play UNO together. We sit and talk about life in general. When we got into this robotic life, we missed these conversations. So it is lovely spending time with these two young adults at home.
Tell me how did this concept of ‘Lockdown Tales’ come about?
When this lockdown started, I was concerned about what I would do, because suddenly there is no work, no meetings, no narrations. Then I took a back seat and did some introspection. Perhaps this is the time to take it easy and not just dive into work and maybe go into this crazy space of living life. I started painting with my kids. We enjoyed the time together. Then I started cooking. My first few attempts failed miserably. My first batch of cookies was so hard that my kids played hop-scotch with it and I am not kidding. But then I made cakes and they turned out fine. So I was happy in this space but somewhere stories started brimming inside me. Characters were popping in my head and I took to writing and then one story was flowing after the other. The thematic unity and common thread between all these stories were what these characters will do when they are in this lockdown situation. This is the reason I called it, ‘The Lockdown Tales’.
Yes, it has garnered a lot of love and appreciation. I was very surprised as I did not expect it. It requires patience for story-telling. Then I also realized that storytelling has always been a part of our culture and upbringing. So I am grateful for that.
Did Ayushmann give you any creative inputs on this initiative of yours?
Ayushmann is my bouncing board. Whatever stories I write, he is the first person I narrate them to. I do take his feedback seriously. The same thing goes for him too. Whenever he gets a script or an idea, I believe that I am the first person that he shares the script with and my opinions do matter to him. So we both are each other’s bouncing boards.
Your social media posts are laced with wit and humor, where do you get this trait from?
I get my sense of humour from my dad. He is extremely funny and witty. He always has this amazing way of looking at things. I have seen him react in dire situations. Tragedy in retrospect is often comical somehow. That flavor of looking at things I get from my dad. I think being funny really helps you with that.
Is directing a feature film in the next big step?
I am taking baby steps. I am slowly and gradually moving towards that direction. My films, ‘Toffee’ and ‘Pinni’ received a lot of love. I have written a couple of feature films. The intention is to make a feature film. Because of this lockdown, now there is a pause button on everybody’s lives. I don’t know what the future holds but the dreams and aspirations are certainly there.
Do you have any plans of working with Ayushmann?
I would really love to work with him from the perspective of directing a wonderful artist. He has grown tremendously as an artist. But at the same time, he is senior to me when it comes to working. So I need to earn myself a couple of films or a position where I deserve to direct him. I am also fretting because I don’t know how it would be because we are husband and wife too. So I don’t know how the situation will be like- will there be fireworks on the set or we would be able to maintain the absolute director-actor decorum. That is something we would get to know.
You have successfully created your own identity. What is your opinion on the tag of ‘Star Wife’?
I am glad people are looking at me as I am. Honestly speaking, I am not really obsessed with being called or not being called someone’s wife, daughter, or mother. I take pride in being called my parents’ daughter, my husband’s wife, or my kids’ mother. Of course, it is nice to be called Tahira Kashyap and not Tahira Kashyap Khurrana. But at the same time, my energies are not on this. It feels nice that people know me by my name. Even if it is the other way around, I take pride and cherish each of these relationships.