Everyone is home
For Shefali Shah, the beauty of the weekend is: “Everyone is home.” She says, “I just let the weekend happen to me. There are no plans as such. Mostly it depends on the kids. Or Vipul (Shah, husband and filmmaker) and I catch a film. But it’s nothing like a pre-planned weekend.”
Shefali says, “I read a lot. I’m a voracious reader. Just finished a book last night and I have three on my bedside now. I read the books simultaneously, depending on my mood. Currently I am reading Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, Nocturnes by Kazou and Mrs Dolloway by Virginia Woolf.
Saturday night party?
Shefali is not really a party person. She doesn’t go out on Saturdays, “Unless we have friends over or if I go out with my friends then probably...” She is not into driving to close by destinations either. She says, “Sunday is no activity day. Just pade raho types.” And she candidly confesses: “I hate to say this but I hardly ever go to the gym.”
She shares, “I wake up late on Sundays, without any guilt. And probably catch a nap in the afternoon too. There is no Sunday special menu. Vipul decides what he or the kids want to eat. But a lot of times it’s Dal Dhokli because he likes it. I’m not fussy about what I want to eat. For dinner, we either go out or order in or I cook what they like to eat.”
She shares, “Vipul and I do spend time together but we are at that age and time where we are perfectly okay with each of us doing our own thing. Vipul can watch Netflix or a match or a political debate all day while I hate the loud noise so we can’t possibly spend all day together. But we sit on the deck and chat over chai. However, now how we spend our time depends mainly on the availability of the boys. So our plans revolve around what they want to do and when they are free from their studies and friends and gym and training.”
Shefali recalls, “You know, weekends were a big thing when I went to school or when the kids went to school because we felt we were unfettered, free of the chains. And that thought is still synonymous with the weekend but it’s not really relevant any more. I mean, there are times I work on Sundays too and then there are days in a week I don’t work so that’s like a holiday. But I guess weekend will always subconsciously be associated with freedom.”
Shefali can’t stop watching a show once she starts. She divulges, “When I start a show I’ll watch the entire season in one night. Can’t stop. Or sometimes we do a film marathon, two to three films back to back. Either at home or at the theatres.”
For the coming weekend, Shefali says, “I will probably be organising a family dinner.’” And she laughs aloud as she shares, “Which means I’ll start prepping from now!”
Then and now
“As a teenager it was all about going out with friends, meeting people, making plans... ‘We will go here, we will do that’, but now it’s about we will be home and do absolutely nothing and just be. If it means vegetating in bed all day, so be it. Even if we want to meet friends my suggestion is always for them to come over. We chill in our pyjamas, chat, listen to music, have our wine, laugh and just be. And mostly it pans out that way.”
Swim not spa
Shefali admits, “I don’t go to a spa. Beauty treatment for me is putting various face packs which I do as and when I feel like, with friends, with mom and with my mom-in-law. Sometimes we friends (that’s an extended family of five couples and nine kids) get together and go for brunch and swim together. But that rarely happens now because everyone is so busy with their lives.”