In the last two years, with a life threatening disease, one thing I’ve realised is that nothing goes as planned. I’ve learnt not to take anything for granted and also learnt to be grateful. This has helped me in dealing with this pandemic also,” says Sonali Bendre Behl. She believes that the best way to battle the panic is to look for the silver lining. She shares, “Just understanding that it could have been so much worse makes you go through the day a little better. The biggest lesson of all is to take one day at a time. Every time you feel low, just switch on the sunshine. These are the rules I still live by.”

The actor asserts that the pandemic has given rise to increased mental illness and domestic violence cases. “This lockdown is unprecedented and is going to cause a lot of issues. Mental health is a huge topic. Domestic violence is also a part of it. But when I start feeling low, the thing that pulls me out and which pulled me out during my treatment also was to watch and read hopeful and joyful things,” she says.

Bendre, who started her book club a while ago, hopes that it would help her battle panic during the health crisis. “I started my book club, when I joined social media and I realised that it was an amazing medium which could be used in a positive way. It has only given me joy especially through my illness. The book for last month is Exhalation by Ted Chiang. During the lockdown, the idea was to choose a book in dystopian fiction which was hopeful, joyful and uplifting,” she explains.

She’s also keeping herself busy with Cuddles Foundation that works with underprivileged children suffering from cancer. “In this pandemic, they are looking for a lot of help because there are children going through cancer and the healthcare workers cannot take offs as they need to keep looking after them. Doing something for children gives me hope and the feeling that I’m doing something for the future,” she signs off.

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