Actor Hira Mani and her husband, Salman aka Mani, have had a lot of say about the coronavirus, social distancing and how to keep your kids entertained during the lockdown.
Recently, the couple spoke to SAMAA TV’s Naya Din hosts Kiran Aftab and Muhammad Shoaib about self-isolation, going live and trolling.
They said that social distancing was a good thing and had made them realise the value of life, good friends and the outdoors. “I think we will now go to every wedding or dinner that we are invited to,” said Mani.
The Meray Paas Tum Ho star said that she was tempted to post for invitations on Instagram. “I wanted to post something to ask people who used to invite us but we would get lazy or want to stay at home and skip their events to invite us again. I promise, I won’t say no. I will show up,” she said.
The show’s hosts asked the couple how they were keeping themselves occupied. Hira explained that to lighten the mood at home and to help their fans cope, they had decided to go live on social media.
“Hira has a large following on Instagram, about three million followers. So I said let’s go live from your account. I don’t have as many people following me as I made my account much later,” explained Mani.
Once these live sessions started, Mani says they were joined by their celebrity friends including singer Ali Zafar and Aamir Liaquat.
According to Mani, after they went online, the couple noticed several celebrities had started to copy them.
“We gave this idea to Ali Zafar as well. He is a good friend of mine. I told him this is the time to entertain people. You know he had a live concert last night,” said Mani.
“It is important to do something light during these tense times. A lot of people are suffering from depression and anxiety these days, especially because they are stuck indoors,” said Hira. “I ended up deleting my WhatsApp five days ago because I was so overwhelmed by news. I figured if this is stressing me out so much, how are other people dealing with it.”
Going live, has also opened the couple up to social media trolls.
They gave an example of their live session with Aamir Liaquat and his wife Tooba. “People turned it into something it wasn’t. We were just having a normal conversation,” said Mani. “When we talking it is laced with sarcasm and humour. There are some people sitting on Facebook and Instagram who give these conversations another angle.”
“I feel that earlier, we weren’t necessarily politically right and could speak openly but now you have tabloids, trolls who are just out to get you…they are looking at what you are saying, doing…things are changing now,” he added.
His wife, however, believes that people are going to say whatever they want. “When I started acting people made a lot of mean comments like she’s only her because of her husband or that I was a male version of him. People have the right to express themselves. I am okay with them criticizing me on my social media posts,” she explained.
Mani quickly responded and said that he was not okay with it. He explained that he had worked with political parties and understood fake profile and trends work.
The couple also discussed relief efforts for daily wage workers and who the kids are spending most of their time with (not mama or baba but the Play Station).