Aastha | Writer | Journalist | Writing, podcasts | Mumbai, India
1) THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
I think we all have had a pretty life-changing time in the past few months. When the lockdown started in March, life could have come to a standstill. But instead, it forced me to get more serious about work and my health. I have worked out straight for 6 months. I have also used the time saved stuck in traffic, in productive ways. I have worked extra hard on all my projects, especially my podcast, which deals with talking about love and relationships in modern India. I have also noticed people are seeking positive content and direction at this time, so they have found solace in the podcast. It has got renewed for two more seasons, and so all the hard work that goes into talking about issues that matter is paying off.
2) THE WORST THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
I think what is happening, which is the spread of Coronavirus, is bad for the whole world. But I have decided to never see anything bad, as bad. If I face a setback, I spend only one day crying over it and get it out of my system. The next day, I move on. The same would be true of my reaction to the pandemic. I have vowed to be careful, but have decided to go on with my work.
3) YOUR BIGGEST WISH FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
That we can remember the lessons 2020 taught us when we are back to normal lives, which will happen soon! I am visualising it. I have become more independent, and have spent less money. I have also realised one doesn't need much to be happy, except for a home, good food and love. So I want to continue being less materialistic and more aware as we go ahead.
4) YOUR BIGGEST WORRY FOR THE NEAR FUTURE?
That we will go back to our old, wasteful ways. I really hope we remember why the coronavirus happened, and why climate change has become a reality, and look after our planet.
5) A CONTEMPORARY WOMAN YOU CURRENTLY ADMIRE?
The list is long: Beyonce, Masaba Gupta, Sonia Gandhi, Michelle Obama, Mindy Kaling, Priyanka Chopra...all girl bosses, who don't think of how people judge them, but keep hustling.
6) A ONE-SENTENCE MESSAGE TO OTHER WOMEN?
Don't be afraid of judgment. And don't judge!
A few more questions about the current situation (COVID-19, lockdown, black lives matter protests, politics, finances, mental health, health, and so much more):
You can also send one single answer to the 3 questions combined.
7) THE WORLD HAS BEEN CHANGING DRAMATICALLY IN RECENT MONTHS, HOW ARE YOU COPING?
I am doing well under the circumstances. I have a job I love, and a lovely home and family, so it has really reminded me how lucky I am, and hence, made me more grateful. I have also become more independent and frugal, which has reminded me we really need little to be happy.
8) WHICH CHANGE HAS AFFECTED YOU THE MOST / HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON YOU PERSONALLY?
I think I have spent on lesser materialistic things in the past months, and now I realise I can do with less.
9) WHAT ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE MOST?
I just wish when Corona goes away, we don't go back to our old habits. We should look after our planet and be responsible.