‘I don’t see any logic to it, but don’t want to negate it’: Supriya Pathak on believing in superstitions

The actor, who has made her debut in an audio show, told indianexpress.com that she is waiting for the pandemic to end so she can pack her bags and travel the world again

Through the many roles she has essayed and the characters she has lived in films and theatre, veteran actor Supriya Pathak has entertained us for many years. Now, at 60, she has found herself exploring a new medium: audio.

The Wake Up Sid actor has lent her voice to Audible’s ‘Buri Nazar‘, a show narrated by her along with co-actors Sayani Gupta and Rithvik Dhanjani. It is the Hindi version of the Audible original ‘Evil Eye‘, which released 2019.

In a recent exclusive interaction with indianexpress.com, Pathak talked about the experience of being a part of an audio show, if she believes in real-life curses or ‘buri nazar‘, her pandemic experience and what she intends to do when it ends, among other things. Excerpts:

Tell us about Buri Nazar; what was the experience of working on an audio show?

It was a great experience — something that was new to me. It was a new challenge that I went through at this age. It is a difficult genre to work on — one would be excited to take it up, but also feel nervous about it. It is only your voice that you are projecting. I am used to my face also helping me, but here I had to do it just with my voice.

How different was it from acting in films and doing theatre?

Very different. In both these mediums, you are using your entire self. But here, it is only the voice that is going to create the character and tell the story. In films, television, theatre, or any other audio-visual medium, you have both the aspects through which you can communicate.

What was the preparation process like?

Basically, I read the script a few times before we went on. I had created a kind of image for my character ‘Usha’. My director told me the way he wanted me to speak and what he wanted me to portray. It was a little difficult initially. But I then carried on with it. My own preparation really didn’t help me as much as what the director wanted; he knows the medium better and was clear.

The show is essentially about curses and misfortunes. Do you believe in superstitions?

No, not really. I don’t see any logic to it. But at the same time, I don’t want to negate it, because I have been born and brought up on this, because of my mother and grandmother, and the elders in the family, who would always talk about the ‘buri nazar‘. I have not put this into my children’s heads, so their upbringing is devoid of all this. It is because of the way Pankaj (Kapur, her husband) and I think now.

Do you think the pandemic is a buri nazar on the human race?

(Laughs) Oh yes! I think politicians are putting their buri nazar all over the world!

How have you been coping in the pandemic, emotionally and physically?

A lot of things have changed during this time. I had never really imagined — with the kind of growth in science — that I would ever see something like this. But now that we have experienced it first-hand, it has changed all of us.

As far as coping is concerned, I strongly believe in the fact that whatever is written in your destiny, will definitely happen. Whatever we have sowed, so shall we reap. So this is all our doing. This is what we are supposed to have gone through. I coped [with the pandemic] by accepting that you cannot really change destiny. So let us go through with it with as much positivity as we can.

Physically, the mask is something that troubles me, but I wear it. I sanitise and wash my hands as much as possible; keep social distancing. But I have been working, too. I have worked in all kinds of conditions and places. I have met with a lot of people, where I have tried explaining to them what this disease is.

What are some of the things you do to stay healthy?

I do yoga — that is the only thing I really enjoy doing. That is my ‘me-time’. I feel relaxed mentally and physically, and it helps have more agility in my body. I also try to eat healthy as much as possible, but I am not extremely good at it. I love my bhel and my pani-puri. I am not interested in fried stuff.

Tell us about some of the lockdown activities that you have enjoyed doing.

I watched a lot of films on OTT platforms and read a lot of books. I have really enjoyed this time, I have no issues staying at home. I am not much of an outgoing person; I would go out only for work. I am not a shopaholic, I don’t like going to restaurants. I am still enjoying this process.

Is there any post-pandemic activity that you really look forward to doing?

Travelling! That’s one thing which has really messed up my life, because I love to travel and do a lot of it. I love London, but I cannot just pick up my bag and go to the city now. The minute someone announces the pandemic is over, I will pack my bag and leave! I already have my list of destinations ready.

One life-changing lesson that the pandemic has taught you, which you would want to share with readers…

Anything can happen in this world. If it is in your destiny, anything can happen — good or bad.

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