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Interview: Mithila reflects on post-Covid ‘new normal’

  • Published at 09:32 pm May 16th, 2020
Mithila Collected

Rafiath Rashid Mithila is having a busy time juggling her job, a new marriage, and PhD, among other commitments. It’s not easy for anyone to do a ‘nine-to-five’ job from home now where the work hours mesh into your family time and weekends are barely discernible from a work day. It can be extra hard for someone like Mithila whose daily life also involves making online appearances after work, on top of raising a daughter. Dhaka Tribune Showtime caught up with Mithila in an attempt to fathom how she manages to effortlessly walk this tightrope  

How are you coping with the lockdown?

I am working from home, Sunday to Thursday, from morning to night. Since none of us are used to this mode of work, time management is something I have found really difficult to deal with. But I am coping much better now. 

I spend a lot of time with my daughter. We sing and paint together. There is no end to her mischief, regardless of what happens in the outside world. I am also trying to study a little bit, having recently started my PhD. 

You made your first short film during the lockdown.

Oh, that was just for fun. Everyone’s trying to keep busy. So was I. It was only an effort to channel my creative endeavors to something useful. 

Anything lined up after the lockdown is lifted?

I know that the post-Covid world will be vastly different from what we had a few months ago. It will be a new normal for us. There is no going back; that much is certain.

But, as human beings, we are very adaptive. I mean, look at us. Did we ever think that we could stay locked up at home like this? Coronavirus is deadly for sure, but it has also taught us a lot about human resilience and strength.

How are you spending your time?

Every day I have multiple zoom meetings with my office and media colleagues. In a way, this lockdown has brought me closer to my friends. We are socializing more than ever before. 

I feel like everyone should indulge in whatever their heart wants for now. If someone takes a photo of the cooking he or she has done, there is nothing wrong with publishing it online. Everyone is just trying to live the best life they can. We should all support each other and not tear each other down.

Since international travel is not an option, how are you dealing with being away from your husband?

Not being able to fly has affected me in several ways. I started my PhD in Switzerland. My work requires me to travel frequently to Africa. And I am married to an Indian. So you can see how difficult it has been. But for now we just have to stay alive and keep ourselves safe for one another until we see our family members again. There is unfortunately no other alternatives left.

How was your experience of shooting Biswa Obak Cheye Robe: Towards Hope?

Well, I would like to thank our director Krishnendu Chattopadhyay for pushing us. The song will hopefully reignite hope in all our hearts. I am grateful to the singers who have done a brilliant job. I would also like to thank Zee5 for choosing this particular song. It holds great historical significance to our people, and it’s also very apt for the time. Abar Jombe mela. The celebration will begin again.

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