Life will never be the same again: Esha Chawla

“My father, mother and three of our domestic staff tested positive for Covid in April. All of them were home quarantined. Since the situation around that time was very bad, we arranged for beds, oxygen concentrators, the entire set up, at home,” says Esha. But a week into the infection, her father’s oxygen levels dropped and Esha and her sister made arrangements to hospitalise him.

They had great difficulty in finding an ambulance to take him to hospital, and Esha says the trauma of watching her father struggling while they searched for an ambulance continues to haunt her. They finally managed to get an ambulance, but it did not have even the basic requirement of an oxygen cylinder, she says.

After she got her father admitted in hospital, at 4 a.m, the hospital authorities informed her that he had suffered a fatal cardiac arrest. “It was so hard to process. I was shattered,” she reveals, reminding that her father took both shots of vaccine.

The actress rues the fact that proper medical support wasn’t available, but at the same time, she acknowledges the need to accept the circumstances.
“One thing is for sure, life is not going to be the same without my father,” she shares, adding that after a month, she had brought her mother with her to Mumbai.

“It was quite an emotional decision to relocate to Mumbai. Delhi is my hometown, so leaving the house and moving to Mumbai was a tough one, especially for my mother. But these are unsettling times,” the Prema Kavali star says.

Esha gains strength from the way her mother has been coping with the situation. “It was so tough on her but she had the courage to console us and instil confidence in us,” the actress says, adding that her mother joined a three-month course on the Gurmukhi (the Sikh holy book) and it had probably helped her realise that the best way to get over this difficult time was to start work.

Esha was of the same view, and when, a couple of days after returning to Mumbai, the production house asked her to resume shooting for her film, she was glad to get back to work. The actress has since wrapped up her part of the film.

Earlier, in March, Esha herself had contracted Covid. The symptoms started when she was completing a shooting schedule in Dehradun. “I remember I was running a temperature on the last day of my shoot. I came back to Delhi, and I tested positive for the virus. So I quarantined myself for two weeks,” she says.

She recalls that she was exhausted, and it took her over two months to recover. “Even now I am not a 100 percent and not able to work out like I used to do,” she shares. Highlighting the importance of a good diet in the recovery process, she says “I had a few deficiencies and my medication included blood thinners for around three weeks.”

Surprisingly, Esha, who debuted in 2011, has done only eight films, and it’s been a while since she’s done a Telugu movie. “I signed Punjabi and Kannada films because nothing exciting came my way in Telugu,” she explains.

Describing herself as an introvert Esha says she has, however, recognised that if you don’t change with the ever-changing industry, you are not going to be relevant. “That’s why I am becoming active on social media these days. Interacting with Telugu audiences and getting to work in the Telugu film industry are quite exciting,” she shares.

When we ask about her relationship status, Esha says that though she was in a relationship earlier, she’s single now, but open to love. She believes in companionship, and is looking for someone who shares her interests in food, poetry, and has a sense of humour too.