ETimes caught up with Angad to talk about how he and wife Neha Dhupia are taking on the challenges of parenting in the times of coronavirus pandemic, his tips to stay positive, a message for other parents and more.
Excerpts from the interview…
How are you and Neha using this free time?
It has been great spending time with her, considering that both of us had been extremely busy before this situation occurred. Also because I had not seen my daughter for over a month because she was travelling with Neha.
We are in a 21-day lockdown, any new hobby or any plans on how you will use these days?
My daughter Mehr is trying to teach me how to paint. She has taken a keen interest in the brush. I’ve been trying to keep her amused as much as possible. She has started saying a few words. Usually, at 1 a child starts to walk and talk when they are 2, but Mehr has learnt quite a few words and knows how to differentiate between her parents and grandparents, people and names. I think her mother has definitely taught her well.
I am just indulging in watching our daughter grow, seeing her walk around the house, get up and sometimes fall on her bum, it is a beautiful sight and very heartening to see her becoming a loving and happy child.
If you had a choice to be locked up for 21 days with anyone other than Neha, who would it be and why?
Other than Neha, I can’t think of anyone. Because she is extremely funny, we have a lot of common interests and there are a lot of things I can get rigid about while she is very flexible. I think we both are the same person, except (I’m a) man and (she’s a) woman. We are trying to watch a lot of stuff on Netflix, like ‘The Crown’, ‘She’, listening to some good Punjabi music. Neha has taken to TikTok recently so she is making some really funny videos and I try to help her shoot them. It’s great to catch up on some sleep and also sit back and talk to our parents. Meher also has chatted with her grandparents and cousins.
I think this time has brought us closer, not just Neha and me as partners, but also our families. We’re just trying to make the most of it.
Click below to hear Angad talk about parenting in the time of coronavirus pandemic
As a parent to a one-year-old daughter what are the kind of challenges you have faced in the middle of the pandemic
There are many challenges. Every day is a new day and its like a fight for survival. We hear of so many stories going around about coronavirus, but it is our basic concern that Mehr and everyone else’s child – at a vulnerable age – are also safe and well. As a parent, you wish the best for your child. We are taking precautions by keeping the house exceptionally sanitised and monitoring all of Mehr’s moves. It is a challenge because she is used to going out, going to the park, playing with her toys, and now none of that is allowed.
But I think she is very sensible and intuitive. She realises there is a situation why everyone is in the house. From her end, I think she is being very co-operative towards us as parents.
Are you able to work out at home? How has fitness and diet changed for you?
My Physiotherapist has given me a programme that I follow. I am going a lot of thera band workout, pushups, weight training and trying to get my knee as strong as possible. I am walking around the house without a brace, so it is a positive sign. A lot of it has to do with the diet. Before I did my surgery, I became a vegetarian for a while to see how it responds. I must say, it has had a positive effect. I have cut down on refined sugar, rice, wheat because my movements are limited. I am not missing the gym as much, because I have been learning to use things around and be okay if there are no weights around. I’m trying to innovate and see what my body requires and what it doesn’t. I am trying to train every day inside the house. Neha does Yoga, so I join in for a few exercises. The main challenge is food. I need to zip my mouth and not give in to cravings.
I have also been trying a Buddhist chant that I was introduced to by Ayushmann Khurrana and his wife Tahera. Neha and I try to do it every day. I think it has given us good direction, mental peace and focus and has helped us stay positive in this time of coronavirus. If we are happy and positive, our child will be the same. We also chant for everyone affected by this virus to help them get over these difficult times.
What message do you have for fellow parents who have tiny tots at home and are worried
My message for young parents is that although it is very natural to worry, it doesn’t lead to anything. Try to live positively because your attitude is going to rub off on your children. You have to communicate and indulge in your child more, whether through activity or talking. This is the time to indulge in each other, care for each other and share your thoughts and feeling. Say simple things like ‘I love you’ or ‘I miss you’ to your parents. At a time when the Earth is pressing the reset button, we should also do the same with ourselves. We should all realise where we have come from our learnings and teachings and set examples for future generations.