When celebs get locked down!
It's not just you, COVID-19 has shut down the globe! But it's not the end of the world. Catch your favourite celebs acing the lockdown, like a boss!
The poster boy of fitness in India, Milind Soman keeps giving new fitness goals to his fans and followers. Though the lockdown has put off many of their fitness goals, Milind knows how to stick to his routine and even up his workout game. The model-actor-fitness enthusiast has kept his fans engaged with regular workout updates. In one of his last updates, Milind posted a video where he is seen doing push-ups with his wife sitting on his back. He had captioned it, "Day 8. Work with what you have! To all the people who said they had no time, now you do no drug, no vaccine works better than a fully functioning immune system, and this system needs exercise to keep it working well. Try simple, effective exercises like Surya Namaskar to improve overall body function. Don't try lifting your wife as your first exercise (sic)
"I am usually shooting back to back. So now, with this lockdown, my wife is getting to finally taste my cooking! Being at home is also giving me a chance to do plenty of research and inspired a new cookbook of easy and quick holiday recipes."
"I am spending a lot of time with my kids and husband. However, my days are really busy. When I am done with cooking and cleaning, I like to do some gardening. I have planted some okra, tomatoes and lettuce! In fact, I am trying my hand at stitching again - as I had to fix a tear in my quilt! For fitness - Sundar and I do yoga every day. One thing is for sure - by the end of the day I am so tired that I get to sleep so well!"
Mathangi Kumar (Chef, Chennai)
I’ve taken this time to work on consulting projects and to experiment more with vegetarian options at home. Some of the dishes I’ve tried in the recent past include japchae (a korean stir fry noodles), hand cut fresh pasta and using ingredients like raw jackfruit as a substitute for meat dishes. Being cooped up at home, I’ve taken this opportunity to learn heirloom family recipes and working on using more indigenous ingredients.
I’ve also been taking Zentangle and Mandala classes to help people relax and stay calm during this lockdown. On the 30th of March, I had taken an online Basic Mandala class through Hindustan Trading company and another session is planned for next week. Zentangle is yoga for the mind and a great form of stress buster.
Chef Saransh Goila
Chef, TV host, restaurateur and author, Saransh Goila is in Mumbai living with his girlfriend and is spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking for themselves while also collaborating with other chefs over Instagram live sessions.
“My girlfriend is doing work from home so I have taken over the kitchen. It also took me back to why I decided to become a chef - it was the fun of cooking at home. Since ingredients are limited, I am cooking several dishes using the same ingredient. For instance, a dal can be used to make khichdi, dal tadka, hummus, chilla or even halwa,” shares Saransh who is also cooking in bulk so that it can be frozen and consumed for multiple meals. “In fact, saag (a dish made from green leafy vegetables) tastes better after it has been frozen as compared to its instant taste,” adds Saransh, the only chef from India who made it to MasterChef Australia as a guest judge. Hailing from Pitampura, Delhi, Saransh couldn’t go back home because he didn’t foresee the situation to turn out this way. “I would have loved to be with them. But now that we are here, we both spend time with our family members over video calls,” he shares.
To refrain themselves from binge-watching and getting carried away from having a routine, Saransh and his girlfriend have chalked out their individual plan for the day and have slotted 2-3 hours in the evening for OTT platforms. In his bid to be more productive, Saransh did one of the things that he always wanted to do - have an Instagram series where he collaborates with other chefs and shares recipes with his social media fans. But, there’s one thing that has been on his wishlist for long - meditation. Saransh is hopeful of doing it soon.
Sarvesh Shashi, founder of Sarva and Diva Yoga, tells us that his recent combined celebrity sessions with the likes of actor Tamannaah, have witnessed a reach of over 35 million in just a week’s time. “We are also reaching out to people in Italy, US, and the UK affected by the health crisis and currently in isolation through live classes in English. Our online sessions are free of cost and will be available four times a day for them as our way of helping them stay fit and build their immunity.” The only charged component are the pre-registered live sessions which we are told costs only `49 per session on live.sarva.com - this is for any session you fancy. With ample inspiration on social media, the next challenge we think is to be motivated enough to actually look away from all the delicious cooking-at-home videos and instead upping your fitness quotient like a boss!
Mansi Gandhi (Yoga practitioner)
The vinyasa flow yoga practitioner, Mansi Gandhi’s voice floated across sternly over all the all participants. “Knees off the mat. Hands on either side of your right foot.” While Sharon got the hang of that with ease – Aparna and I struggled a tad. At a time when social distancing and isolation is the right thing to do, to be part of a session like this is wildly welcome. Before you scream foul – these sessions are conducted over the Zoom app and it literally takes you from your couch to the mat without you having to leave your living room! It started off on March 18, as a helpful aid for Mansi’s regular class members who otherwise attended her classes at CurioPlay or Tattva. “For last month, in order to encourage people into doing and trying online yoga, I offered five free spots which got snapped up very fast! And now I am offering unlimited classes for `3500 for April.”
Even as we contemplate the undeniable convenience of working out from home, we ask Mansi what were the challenges she foresaw with such a programme, in the long run? She offers, “The one thing I see as a bit of a roadblock is real time corrections. One touch can correct the posture immediately as against me stopping the class to correct one person. Also, learning new asanas like headstands and handstands become a bit of a challenge since I am not present to support.”
Chef Rakesh Talwar (The Terrace, A Maiden Affair)
Stating that the lockdown never locked him down, Mumbai-based Chef Rakesh Talwar says that this is the first time since he decided to be a chef that he is at home for such a long stretch. “Actually I seem to be enjoying this time. There are no timelines, no meetings and I don’t have to reach somewhere in that snarly traffic… it is actually allowing me to do things at my time and my space, how cool is that? Isn’t that what we all want at some time?” asks chef and restaurateur Rakesh who has a sincere hatred towards Mumbai traffic and luckily a massive amount of sincere love for innovating dishes with nothing but natural ingredients.
In his career spanning decades, nothing gave more joy to Chef Rakesh, owner of The Spare Kitchen and a promoter of global tapas bar Vice, than seeing his customers having a delicious meal and visiting his restaurants again and again. But, now that he is confined to home, the chef is focusing on his health while indulging himself in hobbies other than cooking.
Elaborating on his day, he shares, “My day begins with some meditation and pranayama. Afterwards, I water my plants and take out time to exercise. I have taken up painting to keep myself busy and I am also learning Djembe, a goblet drum, because music is another thing that keeps me going.”
Ali Fazal, who has been holed up in his Bandra home since March 10, decided to don his cape and mask (literally) and stepped out to help those in his close vicinity. Donning the famous Batman mask, the actor turned superhero for those in his area doing his bit to help out those in need. He heard from his regular vegetable vendor that he has been struggling to make ends meet for his family and that was the trigger for him to amass essential supplies and go deliver it to them amongst other such people whom he learnt of. He even sashayed to the store with his batman mask, just to give people a reason to smile unexpectedly in these times of trial.
The actor took some extra supplies along with him to drop it for other people who he knows from the area including his house help and security guard. Ali has been a Bandra boy for the last 5 years now and over the years he has made his own network of people who keep his life functioning on a day to day basis. As things are worsening for those who live on daily wages, Ali felt it’s his moral responsibility to help out whoever he could around him. Ali got supplies of flour, rice, milk, sugar and pulses and distributed it to those in his area.
Jen Thomas, fitness instructor and personal trainer, tells us that the biggest challenge that she faces with her clients is keeping them motivated when at home. “The lack of community. Everyone loves to get out of the house and see their friends, listen to good music, and have a good laugh,” she says, agreeing that some clients also require specialised attention, such as my pre and post-natal routines that needed extra care in terms of posture and form. Talking about the present situation with the global health crisis, Jen tells us how she started early. “Apart from my regular classes and personal training sessions, I've been training my nutrition clients online for the last two years. Once I realised that Covid-19 was getting worse, rather than contained, I launched the online training program in March.”Her online training program is designed to use minimal equipment, such as a single dumbbell, mat and basic resistance bands. “The current scenario has inspired many of them to take their health and fitness into their own hands and sign up for my online programme (a three-month programme is at `4,500 + applicable taxes).”
Vikram Menon (Founder of Wild Warrior Race)
Vikram Menon, founder of Simple Strong, has floated out live workout sessions, every day on Instagram to keep other fitness enthusiasts engaged during this period. “We are starting off at 8 am everyday – waiting for sleep patterns to get back into the groove. Next week we will try a 7.30 am session!” promises Vikram who is also the founder of the Wild Warrior Race, obstacle course race. Simple Strong is a daily fitness programme across the city in public spaces like the beach or a park. In this time of lockdown, their Instagram sessions are live, free and have a guest at every session along with co-founder Ashwin Ramdas. We tried a session last week where Rajasekar P (aka Kutty) of Covelong Point was the surprise guest and saw us through some tough squat routines that ended with a great stretch session by Ashwin! Instagram handle: @simple_strong_India
Joshna Ramakrishnan (Yoga Instructor)
Joshna Ramakrishnan has a fascinating story to tell. This yoga instructor is based in China for the past six years, and is running a yoga centre called Atma yoga Shala in Guangzhou. She had come to Chennai earlier this year on her annual visit to conduct a teacher’s training programme in collaboration with Rutland Gate Yoga Studio. “I was supposed to get back to China and conduct a training programme on March 1. Obviously, I couldn’t go back.” Talking about the anxiety and stress that everyone is experiencing, she tells us how, “I did a meditation online class in the first week of February for ten days for all my Chinese students as the virus broke out.” Currently Joshna conducts free FB live sessions and YouTube videos on mindfulness. Her live yoga classes on the Zoom app is at `3500 for 12 classes and has students from Jordon, China, UK and India.
Sujatha Giri (Interior stylist)
The interior stylist, Sujatha Giri, who resides in Alwarpet, tells us what it takes to stay invested in an online fitness programme when in self-quarantine. “Given the lack of shared camaraderie, class vibe, buzz etc., it has been tough but not impossible. Few things I decide to ensure to pull this off.”
1. Stick to the class timing as sacrosanct and clear the designated space of all distraction
2. Dress as I would for class and not suddenly workout in my jammies
3. Do not shortchange the warm-ups or post work out stretches
4. Be honest about the quality of movement execution and timing
5. Enjoy the routine
6. Eat right, sleep well, hydrate
Chef Inam Khan, Hyderabad
Chef Inam Khan of Steak House, Hyerabad is quite a popular name amid the healthy eaters in the city and is known to have cooked for the likes of dish has won favour of Tollywood star Rana Daggubati and Mahesh Babu. When we asked him, how he is dealing with the lockdown, he said “The lockdown has been taking a toll on each on of us in its own way. Meanwhile, I urge people to eat healthy and stay safe. Keeping good health and building immunity is key to fighting this deadly virus. I spend more time in my kitchen now trying to experiment with new dishes. I share some home cooking recipes with my followers on social media. We are open for deliveries and we're strictly adhering to government regulations while we keep a strict check on hygiene and sanitation. I'm also trying to do my bit towards society by regularly providing food packets to those in need.”
Chef Harish Rao, Chennai
After experiencing the fast-forward life for so many years, I feel someone had tied up my hands, and put me on an isolated Destination. It is a different experience altogether. It is difficult and the experience has been tough. Initial first 3 days I never knew what I was up – to. I am Working on new cuisines, reviving lost recipes, generating new concepts. I have enough time to discuss and share thoughts with chef friends across the country.
I have been little active on social media; I see lot of people posting videos with fancy and exotic ingredients which are practically not available in such lockdown situations. So, I started giving some cooking tips, and cooking videos during such crises. Basically, cooking with simple ingredients, which is available in our kitchens.
Now, I see lot people are getting involved more with food, good to see everyone getting creative in food presentation, cooking skills, creating new recipes during this lockdown. I am getting time for myself to Sleep, Eat And Work Out on time. This lockdown has thought people about basic hygiene, how to wash hands etc. Please Stay safe, Let's protect our country.
Chef Amit Puri
When you're used to putting in long working hours each day, 6 days a week, when you're used to a busy work and travel schedule, when a fast-paced Mumbai life becomes your lifestyle, a lockdown can be a testing point for you. In times like this, it is crucial to set a new pattern, a 6 am to 10 pm' lock-down schedule'. It took me a couple of days to understand how could this slow time be put to use constructively, how I could stay at home and still add value to my work and also make myself useful at home by taking on responsibility. Helping with daily household chores, doing the laundry, helping with the dishes are some of the things we take for granted. I spend considerable amount of my time these days helping in the kitchen. Lock-down cooking at home with limited resources is a challenge. But now I get to have all 3 meals of the day with my family, and we plan our meals at least 2 days in advance. I think its imperative that while we help with daily chores, we also keep ourselves busy with recreational work, its important to have 'time for yourself' in times like these as well. I listen to music, watch movies, catch up on online series, make phone calls and be in touch with friends and family. And then there's post dinner game nights with the family.
The message to the people would be to stay safe at this point of time and follow instructions of the authorities, whether it is social distancing or staying at home. This is a tough period, not only for us in lock-down, but also for the authorities who are calling the shots. The only way we can contribute is by being patient and not stepping out of our homes and adding to the existing chaos.
Chef Vikas Seth, Bengaluru
During this difficult time, it is important to keep calm. I’m doing a lot of cooking at home with my wife, and we’re trying to use all the ingredients that we have in the kitchen, and trying to get produce home delivered as much as possible. I recommend that you do some basic cooking at home, and try not to waste any ingredient. This is also the time to do things that you were not able to do before, like arranging your kitchen cupboards and spice racks. And, of course, spend time with your family, kids, grandparents, parents. Pray a lot and stay safe at home.
Jeffery Vardon, founder of The Hot Shoe Dance Company and O2 health studios, tells us how to keep working out at home even when you have no props to help. “A few exercises one can do at home with body weight as resistance and no additional weight.”
1. Regular plank
2. Side plank
3. Squats (dynamic and static)
4. Lunges (dynamic and static)
5. Abdominal curls
6. Reverse curl
7. Standing, lateral leg raises (for outer thigh)
8. Standing, rear leg raises ( for gluteus maximus)
9. Calf raises
Praveen Raja and Dr Sunitha Raja (Fitness vloggers)
Fitness bloggers, siblings, Praveen Raja and Dr Sunitha Raja at @shredify.me are posting videos on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, of workouts that transform your everyday items into your ‘gym equipment’! “When it comes to home workouts where there is no access to gym equipment, the key lies in using your body and find common household things to externally load so you can resistance train effectively,” says Praveen. Here are some of their favourite common household things to use in order to get an effective workout in the time of Covid-19 lockdown. (And if you want to amp up the burn then use these items in conjunction with each other)
Actress Adah Sharma who has been keeping her viewers engaged and entertained with her quirky videos on Instagram - think about the one where she combined dance routines with mopping - has a message for the readers of Indulge who are staying at home. To all the people reading this, this is your time to learn to get self-sufficient. Your time to learn to be independent. The human body is capable of anything. Doctors and healthcare workers are working overtime to eradicate it. So it is your responsibility to stay at home maybe teach yourself something new." During this time, she encourages everyone to take this opportunity to learn to rely more on themselves. Would you believe, that she hasn’t been to a salon in years? “I am not someone who has a lengthy beauty routine. I haven’t been to a salon for a long time. I cut my hair at home when I had bangs, now I groom myself completely at home. I give myself manicures and pedicures. Since I do a lot of hand activities like playing the piano and stick routine, I can’t keep my nails anyway," says the Commando 3 actress. Maybe this is your time to learn a new beauty hack at home too!
She shares that she does not have any house help at the moment either like most others. She has also said that both she and her mother are staying together during the lockdown and helping each other with the chores.
When we caught up with Sameera Reddy, the 39-year-old actress, we asked her, how she is maintaining a self-care routine amid lockdown. She confesses, “For the first few days, I couldn’t honestly stick to a fitness schedule. Slowly I have started getting into the groove. When my daughter sleeps and son is doing his homework, I quietly slip away to do some yoga.”
Take note, readers! She also says that she tries to stay active within the house by walking around and squatting to loosen up the muscles. “We are at home and tend to sit a lot and be sedentary, so movement is key right now,” adds Sameera.
"I am going to watch my old series which I was unable to see due to my busy schedule like Mirzapur, Sacred Games, Criminal Justice. I want to see Teesri Kasam again, I want to see some old films like Barsaat, Aawara. I am also reading a book on Nargis Dutt, Darling Ji by Kishwar Desai. I want to suggest viewers watch my old series Powder and Criminal Justice. There were also some scripts that were left to read so I am going through it as well. I am watching sunrise and sunset, enjoying nature after a very long time. I am also cooking for my family. Taking my dog Ginny for a walk. I am getting more time to read books and getting space to explore my other creative aspects. I am also happy I am spending more time with my daughter and trying to understand her more."
“I haven’t cooked for a long time. So, I’m doing that a lot, besides reading books. I am also trying to bring myself to write since I hardly get the time to write. Whatever concepts are cluttering the mind, I jot them down. I am also pampering myself a lot and taking more care of my hair and skin. Besides, I make it a point to workout since it’s a habit with me, especially doing a lot of rehab workout. Even while I am in an outdoor shoot, I take a mini-gym kit with me. Also, for ages, I have forgotten what an afternoon nap was, so I’m catching up on that too. I am watching a lot of web-series and just completed watching Elite and You. Another thing I have managed to do is rearrange and de-clutter my wardrobe — that was long- pending. I was supposed to go for an outdoor shoot via Kolkata and my husband is at home in Guwahati. We never knew such an emergency would occur. Needless to say, we are missing each other, and staying in touch over the phone and video calls. Eat healthy and drink plenty of warm water to increase your immunity.”
“Luckily, I wrapped up shooting my short film Coldfire just before the lockdown, and Indradeep Dasgupta’s Bismillah, where I play the lead, has also been completed. So, I have no pending work, and I am devoting a whole lot of my time reading up a lot of stuff, ranging from Ramchandra Guha’s India After Gandhi to Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons For The 21st Century. I am also trying to learn cooking from my mother (actor Reshmi Sen), who’s a prolific cook and I tried rustling up stir-fried chicken in Teriyaki sauce, which turned out quite well. I also strum my guitar every day, since I take regular lessons from composer Joy Sarkar, which is not happening now due to the lockdown.
“I am taking out time during this lockdown to do things that I usually do not get time for, especially painting and reading. I am trying to wake up very early nowadays, and work out, and get ready to be at home. Nikhil and I clean up the house, and I prepare the day’s food. We are playing a lot of board games nowadays, it’s very interactive in nature and a great way to bond as a family. We are also binge-watching a lot of web-series and originals on the various OTT platforms. I also keep a daily tab on the news, and stay connected on phone with the administration and people of my constituency at Basirhat.”
“I just returned from a shoot in Africa for my film on Kakababu, when the lockdown started. I am doing nothing in particular during this period. But one thing I have done is completing the script for my next, Iti Bina, which is based on the life and times of patriot and freedom fighter Bina Das. For the uninitiated, she is the legendary Indian revolutionary and nationalist who attempted to assassinate the Bengal Governor Stanley Jackson, in the Convocation Hall of the University of Calcutta. She fired five shots, but failed in her bid and was sentenced to nine years of rigorous punishment. Besides completing the script, I am catching up on long-pending sleep and several web-series and films, eating, sleeping and praying that we all remain safe and emerge victorious in this battle with the coronavirus.”
Chef Sharad Dewan
Ched Sharad Dewan