Covid-19: UAE-based Indian actress Asha Sarath on being separated from daughter

Asha Sarath, StayHome, covid-19

The actress lauds Dubai's #StayHome initiative.

By Neha Mahamood

Published: Mon 30 Mar 2020, 12:42 PM

Last updated: Mon 30 Mar 2020, 4:03 PM

Today, amidst all the fear and uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic, if there is one thing we can hold on to it's family. It is knowing that the world out there may be unpredictable but we are at least among those that love and care for us. After all, there is comfort in being with loved ones. How then would you feel if right now you weren't with ones you hold close to your heart? South Indian actress and dancer Asha Sarath can tell us a thing or two about the feeling. The mother of two daughters who resides in the UAE is currently in India while her younger daughter Keerthana is stuck in Canada and unable to leave.
In a recent video shared by the actress on social media, she tells fellow parents she knows the feeling of being separated from her family amidst the pandemic. She goes on to advise everyone not to make the mistake many are making while in panic mode: Do not make rash decisions to get a temporary solution. Sarath explains that many of her acquaintances who have been away from home have gone to lengthy measures to get back. If they are stuck in another country they have opted for a connecting flight and that led them to be stuck in that region. So she says, "Stay where you are, try to distance your self from others." She advises us to tell our children, our relatives and family members to stay where they are, to take courage and your kids will too.
Here's a snippet of our online conversation with the actress:
We can imagine this must be a very difficult time for you. How are you coping with the situation?
It's a very difficult time for not only me but also for all of us worldwide, with the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus and its subsequent spreading. I came to India for a cultural program and have since been stuck here, unable to travel back to Dubai. Added to this, my father was not well and had to be rushed to the ICU in Aster Medicity in Cochin and he is now in the process of recovering. So I spend time in the hospital with my father. However, I have faith in the Almighty and have the strength and the confidence that we will all overcome this period of crisis. One of my biggest worries is that my younger daughter, Keerthana, is studying in Canada and there is a lockdown there. It is the first time that she is away from home and away from me. I don't want her to panic.
Is your daughter worried? How is she dealing with the situation? How do you manage to keep her and yourself calm?
Yes, my daughter initially was worried and we both panicked. But then I realised that there is no sense in getting into a panic and calmly thought out the solution. I discussed with my daughter and explained to her how she needs to stay calm and follow the government directives. The problem was that her University was also under lockdown and so was the hostel. she had plans to shift out of the University campus and find an apartment to stay in, when the Covid-19 issues came up. She had already given up her hostel. Fortunately, I have trained  my daughter to from childhood to be independent. she has now moved out to an apartment outside and I have a daily video interaction with her and we discuss all issues and that helps both of us to stay calm.
Have you gotten in touch with the authorities there? Were they any help?
When my daughter initially panicked and wanted to come back to Dubai, I did contact the authorities there and realized that it was better that she stay put in Canada, instead of travelling. Moreover, I was in India and still am and if my daughter was to come to India, there was the quarantine and the airport lockdown issues. So I convinced my daughter that staying in Canada was the best option for her.
What advice do you have for other parents or family members who might be in similar positions? What would your message to them be?
My advice to all who might be in similar situations is that we should not panic. Be calm. Follow the government directives. Stay safe. Don't travel. Keep practicing social distancing so that the virus chain can be broken. Network with your friends and relatives or if possible, the authorities. Keep a constant communication with your kids who are stationed away from you and give them the confidence and the strength in this hour of crisis. We are all sailing in the same boat. In our journey of life, we are facing a crisis that we shall overcome. Support the government and follow their directives and stay safe. The whole world is facing a crisis and it is humanity that is now threatened. We shall fight it out successfully. Let us all be united in our thoughts and actions to tackle this crisis that we are facing.
What do you think of Dubai's #StayHome initiative?
It is an excellent initiative. It is what is needed in this critical time. A good proactive decision by the government. We should use the time at home to further our creative talents and do something productive from home. For those who can work from home for their company, this initiative will also help discovering oneself and could also pave way for work from home in future if required. Be more creative in your cultural thoughts, in dance, music and art forms, and the practice will give you strength and positive energy and will help keep your mind calm. A calm and peaceful mind will help the home and the society and the nation in turn.

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