Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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I realised my purpose of life during Covid-19 lockdown: Sonu Sood

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Actor-producer-philanthropist Sonu Sood, who helped lakhs of migrant workers reach home during Covid-19 lockdown, was the guest at the celebration of Emami’s 50 years in Kolkata recently. At the event, Sonu speaks on his social works, acting and fitness. IBNS-TWF correspondent Souvik Ghosh brings excerpts…
Q. We all know about your social works. How does it feel to work for people relentlessly?
A. It is more special than all the films, box office numbers that I have done in the last 20 years. I have worked in approximately 100 films across languages. But the feeling and joy I get by helping even one person is more than the success of my 100 films in totality. This is very special. I feel blessed that God has given me the courage to do that.
Q. Tell us about your journey of turning into a messiah for lakhs of people during the period of anti-Covid lockdown in 2020. 
A. I belong to a small city of Moga in Rajasthan. I studied Engineering in Nagpur and then thought of joining acting so I moved to Mumbai. I had a dream to work in big films, with giant actors, directors and producers. Later in life, I realised my actual goal is something else when I worked for common people whom I didn’t even know. I have seen how my life changed after I brought smiles to the faces of the people who were in distress.
During Covid times, I used to see how migrant workers were being transported in trucks. I had come across a family who wanted to travel to Karnataka walking as the process to get transported by buses was complicated in those times. It was an emotional moment for me when I could arrange buses for a group of about 350 people, who headed to Karnataka from Mumbai. It was an awakening moment for me. I could send almost 7.5 lakh people back home.
Q. Did you face any resistance from your neighbours when you stepped out to extend your help?
A. Other residents in my building were worried. They felt I could spread Covid in the building. My wife was asked by them to stop me. One day, the residents assembled to stop me from going out but I tried to make them understand the need to help people who were homeless unlike lucky people like us. When I started helping relatives and friends of the residents, they started to understand the situation and became a part of my mission.
Q. Would you like to recall the working experience with Jackie Chan (in Kung Fu Yoga), a memorable time of your life?
A. I remember when I signed a film with him. He was in Dubai. We had dinner together on the very first day. One of my friends reminded me about a seven-year-old interview where I had expressed my wish to work with him. I had actually forgotten about the interview. After seven years, I got a call from him (Jackie Chan) and eventually we worked together.
I brought him to India also. I received him at the airport and travelled with him. I was going through those memory lanes. It was thrilling to realise that I was travelling to different corners of the country with the person with whom I wanted to work at some point of time in my life. I believe wishes do come true in life. If one gives a message to the universe, it somehow materialises.
Q. You are also known for your fitness regime. How do you maintain it amid your busy schedule?
A. Gymming is very important. Sometimes we ignore ourselves to achieve our goals. We often wonder about the purpose of working out in middle age. We need to shatter these myths. Working out or going through a fitness regime is the only thing we do for ourselves. We make money and ensure all kinds of luxuries for our family but ignore taking care of our own health. I think it’s very important to take care of oneself. I take fitness very seriously. I have never taken a day off from my fitness routine since the time I started it. It’s very important to me.
(Images by Avishek Mitra/IBNS) 
 
IBNS/TWF
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