Aishwarya Lekshmi: I think I contracted COVID-19 because I started taking it lightly

The second wave of COVID-19 has hit hard, and among the celebrities to have tested positive recently is Aishwarya Lekshmi. The Action actress announced on her social media page that she had contracted the virus. “I’ve intermittent fever and a stuffy nose. I’m self-quarantining at home,” begins the actress. So, when did she first take the test? “I was shooting for a Telugu film and was travelling back to Trivandrum from Hyderabad on April 3. I was already quarantining because of the COVID-19 regulations. That’s when I was told that someone among my staff has tested positive. I, too, got my results, though I was asymptomatic,” she reveals.

Talking about her routine during the quarantine, Aishwarya says, “My parents live upstairs and I’ve my pet dog for company. But I’m being extremely cautious now. I’m trying to not exert myself and sleep as much as I can. I also do yoga for an hour in the evening every day by attending online classes. This will help expand the lung capacity so I can fight the virus better. I’m a doctor myself, and I consulted my professor who taught me. Since I don’t have major symptoms, I am on vitamin C and just a few supporting treatments.”

he actress says it’s time we all took the virus seriously. “I feel I contracted COVID-19 because, at some point, I started taking the whole thing lightly. I’d been shooting for long, continuous scenes and wearing a mask constantly led to acne. It affected my work. Also, when you are forced to wear a mask, you tend to not follow the rules. We are all humans, after all. But I realise what a huge mistake that was.” She adds, “I’m someone who gyms regularly. Right now, when I do my warm-ups before the yoga sessions, I can feel the tiredness. I know this is not how my body behaves. I don’t look sick, but the effect of the virus is visible when I do yoga. I get a headache when I try to do pranayama! I know of a friend who was fine for five days after testing positive, but had to be hospitalised on the sixth day! All these troubles… they are so not worth it.”

Aishwarya will be doing her second test on April 13. While she is trying to keep her morale up by exercising and eating healthy, happy thoughts about her films, especially Ponniyin Selvan with Mani Ratnam, are keeping her in good spirits. “I auditioned for a role in June 2019, and I can’t believe I’m doing a film with him!” she exclaims, “It was only after my debut film in Malayalam that I realised I have always wanted to be an actress. But right from my childhood, I knew I wanted to be a Mani Ratnam heroine. Every time I heard Pudhu Vellai Mazhai (Roja), I’d imagine I was in the song. Even now, I feel shy and cautious if I have to dance in front of the camera. But at home, I used to dance to Hello Mr Ethirkatchi (Iruvar) regularly. After becoming an actress, I re-watched all his films in just one week, and even read a book on him. To think that I am working with him now… it feels surreal. He always thinks about his stories, even on days when he is not working or shooting.”

While the actress is tight-lipped about her role or the status of the film, she says shooting with the entire team has been a memorable experience. “Once, when we were filming in Krabi, we had a reading session with sir. He was explaining a scene and a song, and suddenly, my eyes welled up. Brinda Master also noticed it, and was quite amused. I was telling her how I never even dreamt this moment would happen in my life — Mani sir explaining how his song would be shot and I was listening to him in person! I felt very blessed to be there,” she signs off.

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