With COVID-19 being declared as a pandemic by WHO, life seems to be at a halt for all of us. Confined in our homes, we're trying to find solace in things we normally didn't have time for; from baking to art-making, reading all these books we bought but never opened, to learn new things, adopt new hobbies or just doing nothing and spend time with family and loved ones.
It seems like some of our celebrities, too, are taking this time to work on themselves, to grow and to evolve. Model and actress Ayesha Omar has embarked on such a journey where she's made a commitment to have meaningful live conversations on Instagram with people she thinks can teach her a thing or two about prioritizing one's self and being their absolute brilliant selves. Her first guest was singer Meesha Shafi.
Now based in Canada, Shafi joined Omar via Instagram live, and naturally, the first thing they both talked about was pandemic.
"I don't think anyone alive has seen a pandemic of this scale before. And the contrast is interesting, [even though we are locked down in our homes] we are sharing more than ever because of the internet," said Shafi and added, "Say this [pandemic] happened a few years back, like 50 years back, we would not be able to connect or share what each day in quarantine has been like for us."
Meesha Shafi is very private about her affairs and very careful about who she gives her time to, can she share some tips on how to do it, asked Omar.
"I think it comes with learning the power of no. Not as something negative but as something which has to do with self-preservation and self-care and self-love. The degree with which we practice self-love at any point in our lives is what makes us and break us," responded Shafi.
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Does self-love come naturally to a person or one can acquire it?
To which Meesha responded that it comes naturally to us as kids but then as we grow up we forget all about it. For her it's been a long journey, one which hasn't ended yet.
On being in lockdown in Canada, Shafi was all praises for policymakers and the way they are evaluating the situations and gradually easing down the quarantine protocols.
What Shafi has learnt from the weather in Canada?
"I was always scared of snow, but it has been a long slow winter in Toronto, and I've started finding it so beautiful. Flowers are starting to bloom now and spring is here. And after seeing so much snow for so long, these blossoms are so refreshing. It has taught me that life doesn't stay the same. It keeps on changing," Shafi said and continues, "Frankly, if life was only happiness, we will get bored soon. We will start being ungrateful and take it for granted."
What lessons this quarantine has taught us?
Both Omar and Shafi agreed that the quarantine has taught us to take a step back from this culture of instant gratification. "It has taught us that life isn't a cup of instant coffee," said Omar to which Shafi responded, "It really isn't. And I think it [lockdown] has been an exercise in patience. The world needed to slow down its pace and I personally feel like the world has come down to my pace."
When asked about her experience as a mother, Shafi said:
"Being a mother has changed me a lot. It teaches you the idea of loving someone unconditionally and then it paves the path to self-love."
How does Shafi feel about being away from her own mother during these tough times? Asked the host.
"I obviously miss her, she has so much experience in life and she has taught me so much. If the situation was any better, she was supposed to be here with me in Canada. But we can't control things. I definitely miss her so much," responded the versatile singer.
On isolation that has come with the lockdown, Shafi had a very positive response:
"This pandemic has forced has to spend time in isolation and while we are spending time alone, being socially distant, it's transforming us and in a positive way for me at least."