Exclusive: Shruti Haasan on her quarantine realisation, getting back to music, and shooting during the new normal
How exactly does one define Shruti Haasan? After all, she’s not someone who fits in a neat cookie-cutter mould. A delightful mix of contradictions — she is at times uber glamorous, like in the posters of the recently-released Ravi Teja’s upcoming Tollywood film, Krack. Then again, she just lets her eyes do the talking as she did with her act in the Tamil anthology, Putham Pudhu Kaalai on Amazon Prime Video. But her talents go way beyond the silver screen — music is something she reconnected with even more so as she stayed alone during the lockdown. Her vocal range and piano skills are mesmerising. Check her IGTV videos, watch her play some music and you’ll know! Somewhere in-between all these and fighting the perils of the lockdown and enforced solitude, she also found time to use her social media platform to destigmatise women’s health issues like polycystic ovary syndrome by being open and vocal about the condition. “There were times when I couldn’t share my feelings or didn’t have people to talk to or something to read that would make me feel like I am not the only one going through it. So, it felt like a natural progression to talk about it,” shares the 34-year-old, after taking some time out time to speak to us, while shooting in the city.
One day at a time
Evolution is a constant with the Haasan family scion, and she shares that that’s something she only got better at during the last few months. The new normal, she confesses, also led to the path for more self-exploration and honing her skills. The diva shares, “The year stopped us from executing our plans and made us realise how to treasure what we have in our lives. If we are healthy, can pay our own bills, we should really take our time to reassess our lives, our behaviour, our choices and be grateful. I also used this time to know to be thankful for the things I do have and not to take anything for granted again.” She candidly admits that it was this year that taught her to let go and make the most of what’s in hand. “I had so many plans and had so much travelling scheduled from India to London. The thing I have learnt the most this year is not to make too many plans. It’s about taking each day at a time. I never make a plan, I always like to be ready for opportunities.”
Please don’t stop the music
Shruti welcomed the moment of quarantine with gusto and channelised it by getting in touch with her artistry. All she wanted to do was grow from strength to strength. “I think I have become clearer about who I am. Sometimes we are just bouncing off other people’s energy more than being ourselves. It was good to have this much time for myself. I have realised more about myself — my likes and dislikes. It has been an amazing learning journey about myself and my creativity,” says the actress-musician who has recently garnered over 15 million Instagram followers. We love the song she released called Edge — so lyrical and powerful! “I am happy to see the reception it got. It made me feel accepted as a musician and it was so important for me. The night before I released the song I was second-guessing myself. But it gave me joy to see the reaction to the music. It meant a lot to me,” shares the daughter of superstar Kamal Haasan and actress Sarika. She has opened herself up to collaborating with musicians, honing her craft and exploring herself more as a singer. Shruti offers, “It has been amazing to practice as much as I have. Now I am back to work, but earlier I spent hours sitting and writing songs for a long time. Even now I make an effort to stay in touch with my music and writing.” She had to reassess her plan when it comes to the EP but she assures that new music is coming for sure. “I am definitely working on more music and you will surely see more,” she says. It does look like Shruti might have gained a whole new fanbase in the last few months just for her music, apart from her eclectic movie roles.
Back to the grind
Meanwhile, as soon as work started gaining pace, Shruti was back on the sets with brand new energy, and an appreciation for living one’s life to the fullest during the new normal. We ask her if the experience on the set during the times of new normal has been slightly unsettling. She is quick to respond, “I shot for three projects in Hyderabad and the short film (Coffee, Anyone? from Putham Pudhu Kaalai) which was directed by my cousin Suhasini Mani Ratnam. The safety precautions on the sets were so good that it made me feel safe to come back,” says the star, who also shot for my upcoming Tollywood film Krack. She is also looking forward to the release of her Telugu show on Netflix, and Tamil film Labbam. However, as the norms of new normal would have it, Shruti had to maintain distance from her family to ensure their safety. “I went to Chennai but I couldn’t meet my dad because I was on a movie set and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t risking anybody’s health even though I was risking my own. I only want to meet them when I am absolutely sure that it is safe,” says Shruti, signing off, and hoping that she can again meet her family soon!
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