“My dad (66) was in the hospital for six days and mom (58) was there for 8 days. When they were both hospitalised, there was this feeling of utter helplessness. You don’t know what is going on or how they are doing. The uncertainty of it all is very hard to deal with. Our doctors were very good and helpful but there was a constant sense of worry,” says Aadarsh, adding, “Gulnar and I were down with COVID ourselves so it wasn’t easy for us to deal with it. Both of us had breathing difficulty, severe body pains and cough. We felt lethargic and dazed.”
Apart from a feeling of helplessness, Aadarsh also felt a sense of guilt and regret. “I went shooting to Goa and took my dad along with me. The nature of my job requires me to travel, so it’s not like I could have avoided the trip. It was only after we returned from Goa that we all began to develop symptoms. I was cross with myself for going to Goa and putting them at risk. In hindsight, these things become clear but until you are in that situation, you don’t really know how it’s going to be,” he says.
Thankfully, Aadarsh’s parents recovered and were discharged from the hospital after a week. The actor says he made sure to create a comfortable environment for his parents when they returned home. “When you’re going through tough times, it’s important to stick to the basics. I made sure to constantly check on them, talk to them and just be there for them. I had never seen them so low, so I distracted them. We just spent time together as a family,” he says, adding, “Last year, when the pandemic first hit our country, my wife and I moved into our parents’ house because we wanted to be together during this phase. We had never imagined that one year later, we would still be in the same situation. But moving in here was the right decision since we’ve been able to ride out this crisis together. My family is my biggest strength and I’m blessed and fortunate that we had a strong support system during these tough times.”
Aadarsh, who has a four-year-old son Nirvaan, says being a parent during the pandemic has been a huge challenge. “Thankfully, although all of us at home were down with COVID, Nirvaan was absolutely fine. He’s been hearing about COVID for a year now and it’s become normal for him, which is sad. Last year, when the lockdown was imposed, he was initially a bit upset about not being able to go out and meet his friends. But now he’s gotten used to staying home. He doesn’t ask to go out anymore. He plays around the house and he’s happy, but it’s heartbreaking as a parent because you know what he’s missing out on, but you’re helpless,” says Aadarsh.
The actor advises those who are down with COVID or have loved ones affected by the virus to stay strong and stick to the basics. “Simple things like eating the right thing and exercising can go a long way. If you have COVID, sometimes you might feel a lot of fatigue and may not be able to exercise. During such a situation, even simple breath work can help. Find something that makes you happy and do it. It’s important to stay in a positive frame of mind and live life to the fullest,” he adds.