Lucknow has been Sonarika Bhadoria’s favorite destination to chill out. And when her last show ‘Dastaan-E-Mohabbat: Salim Anarkali‘ ended abruptly last month, she immediately got her tickets booked for the city where her Nani resides. “Just like every time, this time I was here to detox myself. I wasn’t using my phone much and was staying at my Nani’s house at a village near Lucknow, where I was just surrounded by greenery and yes, not to forget the fog!” says the actress, adding, “It was almost after a decade that I experienced Lucknow winters. I remember how my Nani, who used to live in Lucknow earlier, would come to stay with us in Mumbai during winters and I used to joke with her saying ‘ki itna bhi Lucknow cold nahi hoga ki aapko sheher chhodna pade’. But this time when I myself experienced the chill, I understood what she used to experience. In fact, I had come here for just three days but had to extend my trip to more than a week because of the weather. I have not experienced such cold weather in a very long time. Even when I was coming to Lucknow my Nani and my mom were telling me to pack some really warm clothes but I didn’t pay much heed to them and then had to buy woolens from Lucknow,” she adds with a laugh.
But making the most of the visit, Sonarika had loads of fun here. “As a child, whenever I used to come to Lucknow, I would always go to Dudhwa National Park. Since childhood, I have been going there as it is just 15 minutes away from my Nani’s house. So this year too I went there and just as a child would do, got excited to see the animals and clicked several pictures of theirs. It was so much fun,” says she.
An animal lover, Sonarika also adopted three strays she found abandoned near her Nani’s house, during this visit of hers. “I spotted these stray pups in a field and since it was really cold, I brought them to my house. I then took proper care of them and even got them vaccinated. The person who takes care of my Nani’s house lives with his whole family there and they will now be taking care of the three pups on my behalf. I have named them Bijli, Badal and Simba. I just love animals, especially dogs. I have four of them at my house in Mumbai and I really love pampering them. In fact, they have their regular spa appointments fixed for every month. I am crazy about them,” shares Sonarika.
Coming back to her professional front, ask Sonarika about the sudden wrapping up of her last show, ‘Dastaan-E-Mohabbat: Salim Anarkali‘, and she says, “I was myself shocked to hear the news. In fact, all the cast and the crew members were not informed about the show’s closure till the last day. The cast didn’t say bye to each other on the last day of the shoot also as we thought we will be coming tomorrow. It was in the morning that I got a call from the director, who is a good friend of mine, informing me that the show has been shut overnight. I toh kept asking people regarding the rumors floating about the shutting down of the show because of low TRPs but I was told that they are baseless rumors. I’m really disappointed how Dastaan-E-Mohabbat show ended overnight. None of us were prepared for this. There could have been a proper way to end a show. All this happened on January 1, so you can imagine how bad the year started for all of us. I mean there were people who were earning their bread and butter and had made investments and plans regarding their remuneration and suddenly this happened. Had the makers or the channel given us a notice, we would have been mentally prepared,” she rues.