Exclusive! Happy birthday Sayani Gupta: Since childhood, I have never cut cakes – Times of India

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Actress Sayani Gupta is celebrating her 35th birthday today. It will, however, be a low-key celebration this year, owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In an exclusive chat with ETimes, Sayani spilled the beans on her birthday plans, her fantasy party, life in lockdown and more.

Excerpts for the interview:

How different will be your birthday this year in lockdown? Tell us all about what you have planned.

I have no plans and I generally never plan. I am never excited about my birthday ever and I hate cutting cake. I mean I love getting cakes from other people. Actually, since my childhood, we have never cut the cake, instead, we would have Paayesh (a rice-based Bengali dessert) for birthdays and hence, I have never cut a cake in my life, except once in my life when I was a little kid. My first birthday cake was in college, so it’s not a ritual or custom that I have grown up doing so it’s very awkward now. I will be meeting some friends today, maybe go out for a drive and otherwise will be at home eating some good food.

What is your earliest memory of your birthday? Can you tell us if there is something special you still hold dear?

Sometimes my birthday would be the same with Durga pujo. There’s a memory of my 4th birthday, what I have been told by my parents, it was also on Durga Ashtami and we had a birthday party at home. There were lots of people, including my cousins from both sides. There were around 80 people at our house. So these cousins ganged up against me and put me under the bed with a knife in their hand. I don’t even know if that was a real knife or a butter knife, but they kept saying if you come out of the bed they will kill me. I remember it so distinctively because I was traumatised and I don’t think I ever had a birthday after that. And also it was the same birthday when my father was frying luchi in the kitchen and the hot oil fell on his neck. He got burnt really bad, so it was a disaster. So I don’t think that my parents ever threw me a birthday party after that.

If you have to have a fantasy birthday party, pick any 3 Hollywood celebrities that you would like to invite?

I would like to call Adele, Ellen DeGeneres, and Shah Rukh Khan for my fantasy birthday party. So, there will be somebody to laugh and sing.

How did you spend your quarantine and battle those lockdown blues?

Although I was staying alone, I didn’t have any quarantine blues. I was busy with my work, there were a lot of releases and promotions going on. I was working throughout from home, I had multiple shoots for magazines and I did a show for a digital platform and other campaigns. So I literally had a work from home lockdown which is nice otherwise I would have lost it. And of course, I haven’t been home for more than 2 days in a row for a couple of years, so, it’s nice to have a static life and not running around all the time. Plus, all the household work, jhaadu-poocha-bartan-khana, like everyone else I tried my hands on new recipes. There are dishes that I can make really well now.

So, can we say that cooking was your lockdown lesson?

Ya, I have always been a decent cook but I didn’t cook very often, I didn’t have the time. But, I think because of the lockdown I have no option and I am really enjoying the process and eating good food, like biryani and all. I am a foodie. I sort of figured out how to cook International cuisine like Thai and Korean, and then I realised it’s actually better than restaurants. That’s a nice revelation. I had a good time, but again, there were a lot of times when I felt bad for people who were literally suffering due to the situation, this is when you consciously realise how fortunate you are.

How was your experience of working from home during the pandemic?

It was a great experience because you don’t have to go anywhere. It’s so funny to see my friends get ready for zoom calls because I took no effort, I would literally put on only lipstick and one dress that I wore for all of my virtual interviews throughout a month and it looked fine I guess. It’s been so long that I haven’t put on makeup that I thought the next time when I get my makeup done I don’t know how I am going to feel, but then I did a shoot last month and It wasn’t weird. That was the best part of digital promotions, you don’t have to go anywhere and you don’t have to get ready.

Who is the person you have missed the most during the lockdown?

I haven’t seen my mother for really long, so definitely I missed her the most. Other than that I missed getting massages, that was the worse part of the quarantine.

If you have to pick one of your movies to binge-watch on your birthday, which one will it be and why?

If I have to watch my own film then I would never do that on my birthday unless it’s a new film that’s releasing on my birthday. If I have to pick for someone else, I would select ‘Axone’ because it’s my last film and it’s a cute film filled with fun.

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