For Esha Deol working out to stay fit is the ultimate high in life. Not only does she lead a very disciplined life, she also believes that one needs to go slow with one’s fitness regimen. Hurrying up the process isn’t helpful at all.
How do you manage to stay fit? Tell us about your fitness regime.
I manage to stay fit because I am an extremely disciplined person. Most of my friends consider me boring because I don’t like stepping out, I don’t like partying, I don’t like late nights. I have been into fitness from a very young age as I was always into athletics and football and all kinds of sports and of course dance. I also love working out in the gym. I work out five times a week and do a lot of weights and cardio. I train on my own and that is my me-time in the day. Working out actually gives me a high!
You along with your mother and sister are also dancers. How has dance, as an art form, shaped you?
Art, especially dance, for me is a very spiritual experience. It gives me a certain balance in my day-to-day life and as artistes we need to have immense patience. It has turned me into the kind of person who is spiritual, gracious, patient, calm and respectful. In dance we learn to show tremendous respect towards our gurus, elders. It has also taught me a lot about Indian mythology through Sanskrit shlokas that we perform. I know almost all the shlokas now. I always encourage parents to involve their children in some kind of creative arts because they will have positive repercussions in shaping up the personality of the child.
Which diet do you follow? Any special diet you would like to recommend women, post pregnancy?
I went vegan for some time and ate a lot of quinoa and salads. Sleep well, eat well and give yourself that one hour in a day for fitness. That is my fitness mantra. I don’t follow any particular diet. I eat healthy food throughout the week, but on Sundays I eat what I want. I never starve myself for the sake of diet. I indulge in pastas, French fries, Thai curry-rice, brownies or even chocolate mousse on a Sunday. No one can stop me on that day! Post pregnancy, I didn’t rush into a strict regimen to lose weight. I took it slow and did my own thing. I started with little walks and then moved to working out. It is important to slowly get there.
The buzz is that you are all set to make a comeback in the movies. What can you tell us about that?
When the film came to me, I felt it was a story that had to be told. I cannot name the projects because the announcements will be made soon by the people concerned. It was a story that was close to my heart and I could relate to it as a mother and as a woman. I could completely empathise with the subject and that is what made me say yes to this film.
By the grace of god, I have been receiving offers for roles in different OTT platforms. It is all about me choosing the right work now. But, if I am going to be out there giving my time and energy and get emotionally attached to a project, it has to be worthwhile. I am venturing into a lot of projects, which will soon be seen on OTT platforms. I have just completed the film and will begin shooting for a couple of web series soon.
Why is it that you’ve been doing product endorsements more frequently than films?
Why not? What is wrong with doing endorsements? There is a fan following that I have maintained over the years. Also, there are people who want me to endorse their products. Even with endorsements I believe you take on a certain kind of responsibility when you promote something and I enjoy doing advertisements. My babies were really small and I could make time only for short- length shoots. Now that they are older, I am getting back to feature films and web series.
Do you see any change in the way Bollywood now looks at actors coming back to mainstream films after a maternity break?
I have always felt difficulty in answering this question because I have seen my mother, back in the 1980s, being a married woman with two daughters as someone who was always working. She was always welcomed in the industry with amazing films and roles. So, the Hindi film industry has always been open to working with married women. It is the women who take a break on their own, to settle down, to get married, to have children, etc. The industry has always been welcoming.
Your book ‘Amma Mia’ established you as a celebrity writer. Do you plan to write more?
I am thankful that my book actually reached out to my fans, especially young mothers for whom it was meant. It’s been very well received. Though it was out just before the lockdown, we managed to pull through and it reached a mark among all the contemporary books on parenting. That feels great. It took me a year-and-a-half to write the book and I wrote it through my second pregnancy. To write another one I think I need to be motivated enough to incline towards another subject.