Alaya Furniterwala opens up as she pines for the sunlight during the lockdown

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Alaya Furniturewala  made her debut in Jawaani Jaaneman starring Saif Ali Khan and Tabu. The pretty girl did a commendable job in her first film and was welcomed warmly by the audience.  Her effervescence and easy presence on screen won her extra brownie points. Much to her glee. Alaya is currently spending time with her family during the ongoing lockdown due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Here she chats with Filmfare about the highs and the lows of quarantine. Read on…

Alaya Furniterwala


Tell us one thing you’re panicking about during the lockdown?

Our country has a large population. Sometimes, social distancing isn’t even an option, for example in the slums. Here, people live in close proximity. It’s hard to maintain distance. There’s only so much you can do to control the pandemic. That’s worrisome.

What trouble have you faced during quarantine?

I’m staying with my mom (actor Pooja Bedi) and my brother (Omar). I was travelling within India a while ago. When I returned, the city got into a lockdown. I haven’t been able to meet my father (entrepreneur Farhan Furniturewala), my half-brother (Zaan), my stepmother (Laila Khan), my grandparents … even my Nana (actor Kabir Bedi), although I did see him before the lockdown. Also, keeping good mental health is a challenge as you’re enclosed all the time. You can’t step out in the sunlight. That does take a toll on your mental health. But you have to be aware of that and do things to lift your spirits. Having said that, we’re fortunate we have proper food to eat and the company of our family.

How do you keep calm?

I’m trying to keep myself busy as much as possible. That’s helping. Even in my regular life, if I stay inactive for too long, it bothers me. Just taking a shower, feeling fresh, wearing nice clothes, doing my hair… though I have nowhere to go, makes me feel good.

What do you indulge in being at home?

I love drawing, spending time with my mom and brother – something I don’t usually get to do. I also cook when I get the chance. I work out too. But I don’t love doing that. That’s something
I don’t really want to do. It’s something I have to.

Three quick dishes you can prepare during the lockdown…

Pasta with readymade sauce. Maggi noodles and eggs are quick and easy to prepare. Also sandwiches are quick fixes.

The lockdown has forced people to stay on social media longer. Is that true for you too?

Yes, it’s a bit more than usual. But I do get frustrated with my phone. The worst thing to happen was that my phone gave up on me. My main phone has become dysfunctional. Now, I’m using my backup phone. So even if I want to be on my phone, I can’t be on it for too long because it’s slow. Generally, I don’t like being on my phone too much. This was the Universe’s way of saying, ‘You don’t like it, you don’t do it’. So yeah, be careful what you wish for.

Alaya Furniterwala


Recall some memes you saw online related to the shutdown.

I saw a meme that said people are making Dalgona Coffee like it’s gonna be the cure for the coronavirus. It was funny and had a personal touch to it. There was one by Filmfare too, a video of me doing kathak chakkars in my dance class. It showed getting out of home after this lockdown would be like… It was related to me so I liked it even more.

Two new things you plan to learn during the lockdown…

I want to learn to cook well. I was studying in New York, so I can survive on my own cooking.
I can cook eggs and pastas. Recently, I learnt to prepare protein pancakes. But I want to learn authentic cooking. Also, I’d want to keep up the discipline of working out at home every single day. I’m not a workout fan. I like doing Pilates, dancing, gymnastics… as exercise. I must adhere to some discipline when it comes to working out at home.

Have you downloaded any games to amuse yourself?

I’m not a game person. But I’m ‘house partying’ a lot. I can talk to my friends all over the world and even in India. You can chat with many people at once on this video app. It’s fun. 



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