Television stars reveal their offbeat hobbies
Their life on the sets often involves long, tedious hours and much melodrama. So, what exactly do television actors do to unwind? Urmimala Banerjee chats with a few and finds that they have rather creative pursuits
I practise the craft of Terrarium — the art of creating an indoor garden in a glass container — at home. I grew up in London in a huge house with a sprawling garden. Now, my home in Versova has many plants but I always want more. I learnt Terrarium in Bandra four years ago. I attended a couple of classes and was soon making my own collection of indoor plants. In Terrarium, you remove a plant from a pot by its roots. Then, you place it in a glass container and cover it with mud. You can decorate it with colourful pebbles, stones or potpourri. You then spray some water on it and cover it with a cling film. The plant grows inside for four to six months. There are specific indoor plant varieties that are well-suited for Terrarium. You can place them in different containers for your bathroom and bedroom. They are ideal for those who love gardening but are cramped for space. I love gifting Terrarium plants to my friends. They last for a month without watering. I also like to make candles.
I have been creatively inclined since childhood. In fact, I won the National Award at junior level for my paintings. I am glad that my hobby is now transforming into an alternate profession. I am having my first art show ‘Contradictions’ in Pune in a few days. I also make clay idols of Lord Ganesha. I learnt how to make idols from a man who sits at a temple in Pune. This year, I made the Ganpati idol for my home. I love painting and sculpting. Though my TV schedules are arduous, I always manage to find time to pursue my hobbies. I believe that once you have the passion, you always find the time for it. Art is a stressbuster, a deeply spiritual experience. I feel like I am connecting with God whenever I am painting or sculpting. I have one room at my flat which doubles up as my studio. I have made around 30-40 paintings for my show. Further, I am planning to go abroad for a course in sculpting that will teach me to work with media like ceramic and acrylic. My wife, Riddhi (Dogra), is very supportive of my passions. She has a flair for writing. So, literature and art are my constant companions at home.
I enjoy stitching and tailoring. I love clothes and often give ideas to my stylists to make my outfits in a particular way. However, what I really love to do is sewing clothes for the deities in my puja room. I grew up in Bhopal where we have the tradition of dressing the idols in new clothes on every festive occasion. Right from saris for Maa Durga and kurtas for Lord Krishna, I can make them all. I love the whole process — buying the fabric to sewing the sequins on them, it’s a lot of fun. I also like to stitch purses, pouches and batuas. My other passion is home decoration. I love visiting home decor stores and flea markets to pick up knick knacks for my home. I also make decorative items. Once my mom picked up a number of sea shells from a river bank in Bhopal. She brought them to Mumbai and I painted them with golden-coloured oil paint. I have placed them in a row on my mantelpiece. They look lovely and people often ask me from which store I picked them up from (laughs).
I have been painting since I was a kid. My school would select me to represent them in all the inter-school competitions. My dad is an artist and everyone thought I would be following in his footsteps. However, destiny had other plans (laughs). I paint whenever I find time. I love colours and most of my works are quite bright. I also paint abstracts, portraits and landscapes. I enjoy charcoal painting as well. I used to work with oil paints earlier but now I prefer acrylic. The latter has be used with a water base, which makes it easier to dry. Both media have their pros and cons. At home, I have put up four to five paintings. My mom has taken away the rest of them as she feels I don’t care for my paintings the way she does (laughs). Painting is a huge stressbuster for me. It is also a medium that helps me connect with my inner self. I don’t care about what people think of my work.