Happy Sankranthi! How are you going to celebrate the festival?
Shivani: We’ll be travelling to Chennai to spend Sankranthi with our extended family on our father’s side. This is the first time we’re travelling as a family since the pandemic so we’re really looking forward to it.
Shivathmika: Sankranthi is all about family bonding in our household. Every year, we make sure to go to Chennai to celebrate with our family there. If not, the four of us spend it at home together. Either way, we make sure we’re together. We have gone through a lot in recent times and it’ll be nice to get together as a family and unwind.
Did the two of you ever try your hand at flying kites?
Shivathmika: Yes, when we were kids, our dad used to take us on the terrace and make us fly kites on Sankranthi. It used to be great fun. But we haven’t done it in a long time…
Shivani: May be this year, since all our cousins are coming together, we’ll get a chance to try our hand at it again. But patangs were a big part of the festival when we were growing up. Our dad taught us all about kite-flying. But our first task was to help our mom (actor Jeevitha) set up the puja room. We also loved making muggus and decorating the house. That’s something we still do. That apart, Sankranthi now is all about eating good food and clicking pics for the ‘Gram. (laughs)
Talking of food, what does a typical Sankranthi meal look like in your house?
Shivani: Oh, I love the food! We have pindi vantalu, pulihora, vadalu and of course, pongal! It’s my favourite part about the festival and the one thing I look forward to the most.
Shivathmika: No matter what, every year we make sure our mum makes her famous chakkara pongal. She makes the best pongal ever and that’s usually the highlight of our Sankranthi meal.
Also, the best part of this Sankranthi for Tollywood is that the movies are back again…
Shivani: Oh yes! We are a family of film lovers and watching movies is an intrinsic part of our Sankranthi tradition. Even if we can’t go to the theatre, we make sure to watch a film at home. In fact, catching the Friday release in the theatres was a family tradition before the pandemic struck.
Shivathmika: On Sankranthi especially, going to the cinema hall to watch a film has been a must-do. Who knows we might just end up watching a film together this year as well, now that the theaters are finally open. I hope all the movies do well. It’s been a tough year for the film industry and I hope this Sankranthi will be the start of its recovery.
Having begun the new year with hope and positi-vity, what’s your wish for this Sankranthi?
Shivani: I wish for a world free of Covid-19 and for everyone to be healthy and happy. The last few months have been hard but I’m hopeful that this Sankranthi will usher in love, laughter and happiness.
Shivathmika: Now that the vaccine is here, I think the day is not far when we will be able to eradicate Covid-19 and reclaim our lives.