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If This Pandemic Does Not Change People for the Better, Nothing Will: Anupam Kher
In a recent conversation with Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld and exchange4media group, Kher expounds the concept, even as he talks about the film industry, his life and childhood.
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Veteran Indian actor Anupam Kher is a believer in the power of positivity and optimism and has recently authored the book, Your Best Day is Today. In a recent conversation with Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld and exchange4media group, Kher expounds the concept, even as he talks about the film industry, his life and childhood.
Tell us what has changed in the last eight months of the pandemic?
The most important thing that changed is that we were forced to take a pause. All these years we were focusing on becoming achievers in the sphere of material wealth but had lost focus of ourselves as people.
The lockdown gave us time to breathe and reflect on ourselves and our lives. If this pandemic does not change people for the better then nothing in the world can change them.
Tell us how the coronavirus has strengthened and rejuvenated family relationships?
We take our parents for granted, which is a selfish thing to do because they are the most selfless people in our lives. I have always felt that whatever I am today is because of the blessings of my parents. I was born in a poor family in a small town and lived in a joint family, but we were all very happy. I used to ask my grandfather why are we happy despite being poor, and he would say that when we are poor the cheapest luxury is happiness.
Have you rediscovered friendships during this time?
When you are faced with any catastrophe or a problem, strength comes from your close friends. I tried to re-connect with most of my classmates and other people while I was alone.
As a result of this pandemic, which are the things that will stay and become part of habit and which will go away?
People will become more aware of their health. That is the most important factor. We will not take health for granted. We will go back to our roots. Mental well-being is also very important to fight any kind of disease. We will be listening to other people. There will be a sense of compassion because we discovered that we do not need so much. More than anything else we will value life.
What more can we expect from Anupam Kher?
As an actor I will continue working. I need to move from being an actor to being a motivator. I discovered during this time that people need motivation. I will continue to make people happy and influence them. I believe that any kind of negativity or pessimism can only be countered by positivity and optimism.
Do you see OTT (over-the-top) platforms as a threat or are they complementing the film industry?
I see them as an extension of what is already happening. In fact, sometimes I see OTT as an inspiration. Any new platform that comes up means more work for more people and that means more employment. The charm of cinema will always remain because whatever we pay for, we respect. Maybe not for the next five or six months, it might take a little more time, but ultimately, people will return because cinema-going is a ritual.