This year has been one of the toughest years of our lives due to the spread of the deadly Covid-19. On top of that, many parts of India even experienced natural calamities. Actor Rajesh Kumar, who had started his organic farming project this year in Mumbai itself, says that this made it more challenging. “My memories of this year are related to the farm which I will cherish forever. It was my first experience of farming in Mumbai and I have seen the floods and I have seen the pandemic. So, my first year started with a big bang. I will cherish this forever and when I grow old, I will tell people that when I started farming there were floods which happened in July 2019 and 2020 March, when we thought that we are going to do well in farming, the pandemic came are a big stop! What can be bigger than this!” he says.

However, the actor, who is currently part of the show Excuse Me Maadam, says that he has no regrets on how his year has passed. In fact, he is happy that it has made him more aware of his health and well-being. “It wasn’t disappointing but concerning. Every single moment we were concerned about the safety and health of our nation. And I always felt that the mortality rate should not go high and we were praying for that. Rather than thinking about what went wrong, the six months actually passed with the alertness and awareness and a little bit of wait period. We were bombarded with all kinds of information regarding Covid-19. But we got closer to each other, we got closer to our families and we started listening to each other. Earlier, we would be running around all the time. So, I would say it was a learning period,” he says.

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He adds, “We were in the best company, so negativity never came crossed my mind because I was with my family and my kids. We had work at our hands, you know, like how to keep our kids engaged. That was the biggest challenge which is still on. So, I think we were taking every day as it is how it was coming rather than thinking about how long the lockdown will go on and what will happen to our work etc. as all these things would have worked as a distraction and brought that negativity within you. The positive approach was to see and live each day at a time.”

In fact, he learnt many things this year too, says Rajesh. “One thing that I started this year and enjoyed so much was cooking. While cooking, eating and tasting, I turned into a good chef. I got back to cooking as I used to do when I was a bachelor and I used to stay alone in Mumbai. I had actually learnt cooking at that time and I still remember when I made something for the first time, it wouldn’t turn out really well. But that day I decided that I will ace my cooking skills and today I can proudly say that I love cooking. In fact, I help my wife in cutting and chopping vegetables and take the charge of the kitchen. And I make so many items in one go. So that’s the one thing which will remain with me for my life not. My dad was also a very good cook so I have got cooking in my genes. Now, I don’t just grow food but I know how to cook the food too,” he says.

Rajesh’s year had a lot of amazing moments as well. Talking about those, he says, “The biggest achievement this year was that I recovered from Corona unharmed. Secondly, I got work immediately after the lockdown got over. Also, I made my debut in a web series and now, I will be starting the organic supply of vegetables, growing and production in Bihar, Patna! What I am doing next is not a short term period thing but it will require a huge amount of time. Growing food naturally and organically and making it available for all the middle-class families is the idea.”

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