When in 2019, Ali Fazal shot for a film in which he was in a voluntary house arrest, little did he know he’d be caught in a similar real-life situation – only involuntarily.
“That was a posh, voluntary house arrest. It was a very convenient, nice, big house, because we wanted a shooting- friendly ‘manchaahi’ location. But I think everything changes the moment it is involuntary. And that’s when you realise that this is harder than the time I spent on location on shoot. It’s quite a coincidence though,” Fazal tells us, quipping this is perhaps “how The Simpsons must have felt when they went predicting every event in the world”.
It was only recently that Fazal returned to India following four months of shooting in th US. He was not just geared for new projects, but also prepping for his wedding to actor Richa Chadha, which in the current scenario of the Covid-19 lockdown, stands postponed. Ask him about it, and he says, “Sabki life postpone ho gayi hai, shaadi toh… let’s see what comes out of this in the new world. I hope we come out as better people, a better system, a better climate. I think there’s a major churning happening above, below, inside and outside… everywhere. It’s definitely a time to reflect.”
Admitting that he’s “missing” seeing Chadha, for whom he has been penning poetic mush online, Fazal says they’re happy “being responsible by following the rules”. The 33-year-old actor, who’s busy cooking, cleaning and reading, says, “Thank God for my boarding school, staying alone becomes bearable. I can live with myself.”
Pointing out how the present is a pertinent reminder, he says, “When we weren’t affected by this virus, there were so many things happening. The riots, war, people were dying in some other part of the world or the other. We became so numb and people were like, ‘Ya… haan yaar, it’s really sad’. But suddenly when the enemy is common, it’s become personal… we’re worried because now that thing is also a threat to us.”
ne fine day, Fazal stepped out in a Batman mask to help the needy. The DC fan that he is, he laughs, and says, “I was going to get some ration, some for my house and most of it for the needy. So, I wore that mask thinking that every day sab line mein lage rehte hain, wahi same mask pehne huay.. People are really harrowed and sad… I thought people will have something (different) to look at.”
Metaphorically speaking though, he adds, “There are a lot of Batmans out there who are doing real work. They’re cooking, there are essential food shop owners, doctors, nurses and they’re the real superheroes.”