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A calm corner for the working critic

Anupama Chopra tells us about her two workspaces, and why she can’t wait for Monday mornings

Anupama Chopra is the founder of Film Companion
Anupama Chopra is the founder of Film Companion

Anupama Chopra has a lot to keep her days full. She’s a full-time movie critic and the founder of Film Companion, an entertainment journalism platform. She’s the director of the Mumbai Film Festival. She has a new book, A Place In My Heart, out this month. But, as she tells us over email, she loves her work, and that feeling extends to her two workspaces. Edited excerpts from an interview.

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Describe your current workspace to us.

So I shuttle between two workplaces, one in my home in Mumbai and one at our farm, which is around three hours from Mumbai. In both, my writing table is placed against a window.

The one in the city overlooks lots of plants and a wall painted green, to pretend that there is more greenery. The one at the farm is gorgeous, looking out at trees and a lake. In the city one, I have a small jar of sand with the label ‘Extra Time’ – which is something I always need. And the one at the farm has a tiny statue of Lord Ganesh reading a book. It’s a favourite.

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Farmhouse workspace
Farmhouse workspace

Has it always been this way? Or has it evolved over the years?

For years, I worked out of my bedroom. I remember when I wrote my third book Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema, there were notes, arranged in piles, three feet behind my desk. I don’t know how my husband lived with it. But then someone (no memory who) told me to keep my work space and rest space separate. Apparently, it’s healthier. So I managed to do that.

Mumbai workspace
Mumbai workspace

How would you define your daily relationship with this space?

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I love what I do. I’m one of those people who can’t wait for Monday morning so I love my work spaces as well. They bring me a certain calm. 

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Tell us about some of the work you have had here.

Actually both places came about during the pandemic. Earlier I would work at the Film Companion office, which is very close to my residence. But once we shifted to work from home, it felt too lonely to go there and I adopted another space in the house. The same two spaces also double up as shooting spaces for reviews and interviews. So both have ring lights sitting in one corner. All the work I’ve done in the last year has been at one of these!

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If you were to trade in this place for another, what would it be?

I miss being in office with my colleagues, so the only place I would trade these for is that space. I hope we can congregate soon.

Creative Corner is a series about writers, artists, musicians, founders and other creative individuals and their relationships with their workspaces.

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