Nikesha Patel shifted her base back to London (her hometown) last year. The actress went to pursue a career in the British film and television industry just before the pandemic took hold in March 2020. She still has some projects to complete in India, but is not ready to come back at this point. We talk to her about her situation.
“I have been waiting to come back to India,” Nikesha says. “I actually wanted to come to India in December, but was shooting for a few commercials here and was occupied with other assignments too.”
And just when she thought of returning to India last March, the second wave of COVID-19 struck, she explains. “I have a few projects for which I have to resume shooting, and the filmmakers have been following up with me,” she admits, and laments that they are calling her ‘lazy’ and ‘non-dedicated’.
“But it’s OK, I don’t want to risk my health and life. I am safe here,” she asserts, adding, “It is difficult to come there at this point.”
Britain is still under partial lockdown, film shootings haven’t begun, and theatres aren’t fully opened up. “We can only shoot for commercials at home here,” Nikesha explains. She finds watching the situation in India on television very depressing and scary.
Referring to actors in India posting vacation photos and dance videos on their social media, she says, “I think we actors live in this ridiculous bubble that all seems to be fine, but it is not. I guess celebs haven’t been realising how bad the scenario is. I was shocked to see actors posting photos and funny videos online and entertaining people. It’s so pathetic, it angered me.”
Describing the entertainment industry as ‘money minded’, Nikesha alleges that in many cases, social distancing and other protocols were not followed during shooting.
While she is hoping that the situation will improve soon, she is also pessimistic about the ability of people to learn from experience. “It’s very sad that neither the people in India nor the government were prepared for the second wave,” she says.
Describing India as her “first home,” the actress says “I have my extended family in the country and I was raised with Indian beliefs and value systems.” Nikesha lives with her parents in London. “This is the first time in 12 years that I stayed for over a year with my parents,” she shares.
Apart from acting, Nikesha has also ventured into business — she is into E-commerce, stock market trading and real estate.
When we ask the actress if she’s planning to settle down, she promptly replies, “Yeah, it’s about time I settle down. I am getting to know quite a lot of people. Someday I want to have a family and kids. I am exploring the dating scene here in the UK.”
She clarifies that she never dated anyone from the south film industry. Ask her what she’s looking for in a partner, and Nikesha says being ambitious is what turns her on in a guy, but she doesn’t appreciate people who show attitude and arrogance. Meanwhile, her friends in the industry here in India are still in touch with her.