The year started with a heartbreak for Daisy Shah when her much-loved pet passed away on January 10. But soon after, the owner of the salon where she’d taken her dog for grooming, gifted her one of the puppies from his pet’s litter. “So, Theo is not bought, he’s adopted,” the actress is quick to point out. Theo? After Theobroma, you quip, and she retorts, “That’s the assumption everyone jumps to but Theo in Greek means ‘divine gift’ and that’s what he is.”
Meanwhile, Daisy has been quietly helping out another animal lover who goes to Bombay University every day to feed 50 strays. “He’s not associated with any NGO or corporate. He got in touch with me and I readily joined hands with him. It’s not just humans who are suffering because of the pandemic but even animals and we need to look after them,” she asserts.
The actor is in talks with a leading website to set up a shelter for strays and abandoned dogs. “We can add other animals later. I’ve had this vision of a rescue centre for a while now and hope it materialises soon,” she says fervently, pointing out that animals can be great companions during these difficult times when many are cut off from family and friends.
While the on-going coronavirus-induced pandemic and subsequent lockdown has left many lost, angry and depressed, Daisy exudes positivity in her social media posts. Prod her on her sunny smiles and she says the secret is to accept what’s happening and find the good in the bad. “Also, it’s important to work on yourself everyday — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually — and set goals that make you a better person rather than chase after elusive material ones,” she philosophises.
Talking of working out, with gyms closed, how has she stayed super fit in the last year-and-a-half? She laughs, “Where there is a will, there is a way. I have started walking around the living room for 45 minutes after dinner, even that is exercise. Also, since every song makes me groove, I dance a lot. But that’s not cardio, it just takes me to a happy place.”
With shooting coming to a halt following the second lockdown, Daisy has had plenty of quality time for herself and has been doing a lot of meditation. “It helps me connect with God and spirituality keeps me rooted. I’ve learnt to live in the present, I don’t plan too far into the future,” she confides.
Quiz her on her forthcoming projects and she lists out three: Tatoo, which is set entirely in London and will be shot there; Pyaar — Conditions Apply, a love story set during the lockdown; and a third film but since the contract has yet to be signed, she refuses to divulge any details.
Daisy’s mentor, co-star, producer and friend Salman Khan has spent the lockdown in his farm in Panvel, miles away from her. Doesn’t she miss him? “What’s technology for? It’s given us mobile phones to make video calls. Besides, when you are mentally connected, you don’t have to be physically present,” she concludes.