All of us need a laugh, especially now, when we are locked down in our homes due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Spreading joy and cheer in the stressful lives of people, Rohitashv Gour plays the comical character of Manmohan Tiwari on the most popular comedy serial of &TV, Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain! He not only takes laughter as a medicine but also gives you a dose of it every day at 10:30 p.m. As production (shooting) has come to a halt, ZEE5 interviewed Rohitashv about his special curfew birthday and tips to take a chill pill during stressful times. Read ahead for his words of hope and understanding!
First, laugh a little or a lot! Watch the latest episode here:
1. Firstly, how did you celebrate your birthday on 24 March 2020, the day PM Modi announced the lockdown?
My wife had gotten a special cake made from my real pados wali bhabi ji (neighbouring lady). Literally, the cake said, “Birthday In Lockdown!” Then, my daughters also made a cake for me specially and wrote, “Happy Birthday Papa.” So, we cut two cakes and celebrated. Later, we recorded a video message urging people to abide by the self-quarantine curfew that Modi ji has announced. Basically, I spoke about human welfare!
2. How are you spending your free time at home during the lockdown?
For the last 15 years, I’ve been very busy. Once, I was working 3 schedules a day. Then, I was doing another comedy serial for 5 years. Now, BGPH is happening for 5 years. While I enjoyed all of it, I never found the time to work on myself and explore more as an actor. Nowadays, I’m watching comedy films and observing the brilliant performances, which I had missed out on. Also, I’m preparing for a theatre festival in Shimla, which is our family tradition since 1955. It will happen in June, most probably, until the outbreak dies down. So, I’m quite busy!
3. How do you make sure to stay healthy and fit while being at home?
I have a morning routine set for it! I wake up with the sun and practise yoga till 8 a.m. I also do some physical exercises. Not only during the lockdown, in fact, I’m following it since the time I started my career, every single day, without fail!
4. What are the things that you are doing to spend quality time with family?
I’ve told my wife to relax because I will cook now! Honestly, my cooking is great because I learnt it during my struggling days in Mumbai. Coming from a small town, I did some odd jobs while staying in a tiny rented room. So, I make parathas, bhindi sabzi (ladyfinger curry), aloo-gobhi sabzi (potato-cauliflower curry), etc., really well!
5. How are your daughters bonding with you during the time of quarantine?
We’re cleaning together! We de-cluttered my almirah full of awards which I won over the years. Suddenly, we’ve become conscious about sanitizing everything including ourselves. My daughter and I take turns to do the dishes and sweep the floor because househelps also need to be safe at their homes.
6. At the time of stress and confusion, how would you advise your fans to lighten their mood?
Firstly, we need to be understanding the situation! As it’s an actor’s responsibility, I’m posting out videos on Instagram to tell people that we can fight with the virus just by staying at home. With the hope and assurance that we will control the situation, I am positive and I share the same with my viewers too.
7. Laughter is the best medicine, as we know! How would you prescribe its dosage to your audience?
Definitely, laughter creates positive energy inside our bodies. For the genesis of hasya ras in our minds, only staying away from negativity is not enough. Embracing humour, and sometimes, laughing at bizarre things is also necessary. The episodes of BGPH are on repeat telecast. I also recommend my friends to watch Woody Allen’s movies. Unknowingly, it becomes a strength in disguise, to fight! And it distracts our minds from the constant scare of disaster or death.
8. What would you say to people are not bored and stay motivated plus healthy at home?
I’d say that please don’t blindly believe WhatsApp forwards and don’t even watch/read a lot of news constantly. It’ll add to the stress and lead to chaos. Exercise and practise yoga at home. Many people like to watch animated and cartoon films as well. Also, use this time to get back to literature, which is so rich in our country. Read short and funny stories of Munshi Premchand and Ismat Chughtai. My days in National School of Drama (NSD) made me love them!
9. One last message to your viewers as Manmohan Tiwari ji?
Tiwari ji speaks Hindi only! So, he’d like to say, “Bhaiya ghar par rahiye, swasth rahiye, positive rahiye! Hum shoot jaldi shuru karenge, kyunki mujhe puri ummeed hai ki hum ye situation control kar lenge! Par tab tak aap sablog ghar par rahiye aur &TV pe humara show dekhte rahiye, kyunki Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain!”
JAAN HAI TOH JAHAAN HAI!