By now we all know actress Shilpa Shirodkar, who is settled in Dubai, ventured to get herself vaccinated against COVID-19.
Little did she know that a simple health precaution would create a national stir in the Indian media.
"It was a harmless post on Instagram where I thought I'd let people know that I had been safely vaccinated against Covid," Shilpa tells Subhash K Jha. "It suddenly seems to have motivated others to stop being afraid of the vaccine."
"I took a Chinese vaccine named Sinopharm and I want people to know it is absolutely safe. I was administered the first dose on January 6. I have to go back for a second dose on January 27," she adds.
"After that, from what I understand, the vaccine takes five weeks to be effective."
Shilpa wants people to know the vaccine is safe.
"I've had absolutely no side effects. I am so glad I took the initiative. I thought about it before taking the vaccine. I won't pretend that I didn't have my reservations and fears. But once I made up my mind I just drove down with a close friend who also wanted to take the vaccine. My staff also went for it."
Shilpa's family will now follow suit.
"My husband Apresh and my daughter Anushka have decided to take the vaccine. As soon as Apresh gets a day off from work he will go. The process down here is so simple and so friendly. There are smiling doctors and nurses and there's no paper work. You can drive down any time and get it."
Shilpa's elder sister Namrata and her husband Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu are also expected to take the vaccine soon.
"They are very interested. But I am not pressurising anyone. I didn't even pressurise my husband and daughter. Everyone should be free to get the vaccine when they want," says Shilpa.
"I want them to know I feel absolutely safe after the vaccine. This last year has been very hard on all of us. The vaccine is the only way out of the pandemic."
But a warning from the actress who once regaled us with her spunky performances in Kishen Kanhaiya and Mrityudand.
"The vaccine doesn't mean we throw all caution to the winds. The mask and social distancing are a must in spite of the vaccine."
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com