As the rush to be at places has reduced, more and more families have been sitting together for sharing meals, playing games, enjoying sunny afternoons, and reminiscing about their childhood by going through old photo albums. By now, as we experience Lockdown 4.0, the family dynamics has undergone a sea change, especially for city-based celebrities who had been otherwise busy with their projects. Some say that they have slowed down to spend time with their loved ones while others share activities that they have taken up only now, to enjoy with their family.
‘Come to the kitchen at 2 am and kids would be seen making pancakes’
“There are trees, with fruits like kachha (raw) mango and passion fruit, in our plot, which me and my girls have been using to make a lot of fun cocktails from all the liquor that’s leftover from Christmas,” shares author and screen writer Anuja Chauhan. She is spending the lockdown with her kids and husband in Bengaluru.
Author of book, The Zoya Factor, which went on to become a movie starring actors Sonam K Ahuja and Dulquer Salman, Chauhan reveals that the lockdown has messed up her routine, and being locked down with the family has come with its own set of quirks. She adds, “The children are nocturnal. There is no sleeping or waking time. You come to the kitchen at 2 am to get a bottle of water and they will be making pancakes; so it’s quite crazy that ways. There’s a return to basics. Now, it’s two months, so the initial charm is wearing off. We play jenga a lot, but it’s becoming more and more drunken (laughs).”
Now that everyone’s locked down with their families, almost 24X7, the dynamics of the family has evolved for most. “I think we’ve become a little more patient with each other because you have nowhere to go in case you have a disagreement. You can’t bang a door and leave! You’ll have to be in the house only… So we’ve learnt to be more patient and tolerant and that’s been a good thing,” opines Chauhan.
‘Now that you feel ki agar family na ho toh banda kya karega!’
Some are seeing increased family bonding as a blessing. Take for instance singer and poet Minu Bakshi, who is in Delhi, locked up with her family. “It’s really been a blessing because normally everyone is very busy doing their own thing. Now we are getting so much time to bond. We have been eating together, doing yoga together, playing ludo, table tennis, and badminton. The family has rediscovered each other again and enjoys being together,” says Bakshi.
The family dynamics in Bakshi’s house has changed after realising that they loved the time they’ve been spending together so far. “We have passed rules now. Before, everyone used to eat food in their own room. Now, we realised that if we enjoy quality time over meals as a family, we will always take time out to eat together,” says Bakshi, adding, “More than ever, it’s now that you feel ki agar family na ho toh banda kya karega! Everybody is interdependent, and the thing is that no one realises it when everyone is doing their own thing… However, now there’s a realisation that family is the whole world.”
Cheating and fighting on board games with kids has become the new normal for the poetess, who has been writing that have often gone viral on social media, during the lockdown. She adds, “We had forgotten how fun all this used to be earlier. There’s a return to childhood now.”
‘We have to take care of ourselves for our families’
Family dynamics have also changed for those celebrities and artists who have been locked down away from their family members. From cooking together on video calls to gardening virtually, for most of the day they are doing everything possible now, to stay connected with their loved ones.
Actor Rajesh Tailang — who recently portrayed the role of Indian team’s coach in Kangana Ranaut-starrer Panga — is locked down in Delhi, away from his family. But that doesn’t mean that he has compromised on family time! “Main bilkul akela hun, aur by chance, sab alag alag jagah lockdown ho gaye hain. But we have been connected over video calls more than ever before,” says Tailang.
One who loves to play online games with his son, Tailang has been doing just that amid the lockdown. “Achha waqt bitane ke liye bhi hum dosto ke paas yahan wahan bhagte hai; kabhi party kabhi kahi. Woh achha time hum family ke saath bhi bita sakte hai… Fun can also be playing ludo with your family!”
A change in the family dynamics for Tailang has meant making most of his time coaching his son in various things and also learning from his young one. The actor adds, “My son taught me how to connect over video call through various apps, and uske through hi hum ek dusre se kuch kuch seekhte rehte hain. I guide him on his syllabus, and we also play games.”
Elaborating what family means to him, and how people away from their families should take care of themselves amid lockdown, Tailang says, “Family means everything. Without family we are nothing. We have to take care of ourselves for our families, even if we aren’t able to live with them at the moment. I always take care of myself right now, only for my family.”
‘Never believed in quality time when kids were growing up’
Delhi-based artist Seema Kohli has also been connecting with her family over video calls, to be able to spend quality time with them, during the lockdown. “It’s been really very strange because my son lives in Goa, and he couldn’t come back to Delhi under all these circumstances. My daughter stays in Defence Colony, and she couldn’t come to stay with me either. However, we’ve been more connected with each other than ever before the lockdown!”
For Kohli, family time meant having conversations over delicious meals! She shares that “There were dinner dates, we were cooking together. It surprises me that this time in lockdown passed so quickly. We were talking three times a day.”
The lockdown has also made Kohli pause, and reminisce about old times while getting back to old hobbies.”I was sharing old photos and albums and showing them to my kids over video calls. My daughter and I did virtual tours of each other’s garden and did gardening with each other after a long time, albeit virtually.”
Kohli couldn’t meet her 90-year-old father, who stays close by, during the lockdown. Now, after the rules have been relaxed a bit, she visited him after a long time, and says, “It’s so strange when you’re meeting and you’re not hugging. But we have to do that to save each other from the pandemic.”
Talking about the change in her family dynamics, Kohli shares, “My family is where my roots lie. They are the wind beneath my wings. It’s very important to spend time with each other. I had never believed in quality time when these kids were growing up as my art has taken its own space. The love was there, but the leisure of time was getting overshadowed. This lockdown has corrected that.”
Author tweets @FizzyBuddha