Pooja Hegde has six projects to juggle. From the time the lockdown was eased last year, she went from completing Radhe Shyam with Prabhas to beginning Cirkus and a couple of projects in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi languages. Pooja was busy completing commitments when she tested positive for COVID-19 last week. The actress has isolated herself at home and is being looked after by her family. “I am recovering well. I was fortunate to have just mild symptoms. I have been taking the prescribed medication. I have isolated at home and am focusing on resting and eating well,” she says. Had everything gone as planned, by now, Pooja would have had a couple of releases in three different languages. At this point, she would have been preparing for the release of the Salman Khan-starrer Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali, which was originally slated to release on Eid 2021. But in the current scenario, with the pandemic raging, the film’s shooting has been postponed. Talking about it, Pooja says, “It’s a fun film that will make people laugh. We had planned to begin it a while ago, but the pandemic affected the shooting schedules. Once things get a little better, we should hopefully be able to start shooting. I am extremely eager and excited to work with Salman Khan. It’s my first film with him, and he’s someone I look forward to interacting with on the set.”

Pooja also shot parts of Radhe Shyam with Prabhas after the lockdown ended last year. Recently, she was also shooting with Ranveer Singh for Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus. Sharing her experience of working in the new normal, Pooja says, “We have always been strict with protocols and were being tested regularly all along. The thing is, before the camera rolls, we actors have to take off our masks. I have to admit that things have changed from what they were once upon a time. Times are such that we have to make sanitising, keeping a distance and wearing a mask a habit. Only when people feel safe and secure can things get back on track on the work front. Also, we have to learn to live with COVID-19. It will be a long battle to get to the other side. Being careful and cautious is the only key.”

Back in January, when theatres in the country had begun to open up, some cinemas down South registered huge footfalls. Pooja says, “As an artiste, I was happy to see people go back to the cinemas. People down South are hugely passionate about films and their stars. I have many projects waiting to be released in cinemas, which in the current scenario is not possible. Some of my films are yet to be completed. I hope that things come under control really soon and everyone is able to go back to a cinema hall and enjoy a good film without any fear. At the moment, it’s all so uncertain and unpredictable.”

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