‘Distance has never been a factor for us’

IMAGE: Anshuman Jha with wife Sierra Winters. Photograph: Kind courtesy Anshuman Jha/Instagram

Anshuman Jha and his American wife Sierra Winters became proud parents to baby girl Tara on March 10.

The actor sees parenthood as a game-changer in his life.

“Suddenly, there is another being who is greater than ‘I’ or ‘us’,” Anshuman tells Subhash K Jha.

“I am responsible for a human being, who can impact a world that I may not be a part of. And I am looking forward to prioritising it. I have taken a paternity leave for two months, and pushed Lakadbaggha 2 by three months. I feel like Ma has blessed us and I am looking forwards to serving this child. Our kids don’t come from us but through us and therefore, I wish to continue being a better human being.”

Anshuman is happy that the child is a girl.

“Gender was a surprise even though we could have chosen to find out here, in the US. A baby girl is special for me. I have been brought up by women and a lot of who I am is because of the female influences in my life.”

“It’s fair to say I am matriarchal and we are thrilled to have a baby girl. Sierra and I are close in ways which go beyond the body and mind. This has only empowered our belief and faith in the purity of our love.”

IMAGE: Anshuman, Sierra and Tara. Photograph: Kind courtesy Anshuman Jha/Instagram

He says life hasn’t changed much after his marriage in October 2022.

“I still have my routine and she has hers. I like discipline and find joy in the little things, like walking with my dogs. Sierra is a lot of the same, being a tri-athlete. She is rooted in simplicity.”

“I feel blessed to have someone like her as my life partner. I respect and like her immensely in addition to being in love with her. We are each other’s best friends, so life hasn’t changed much, a few priorities may have. I like to cook. When I work, I work. When at home, I am private,” he adds.

“Balance is the key to defining my life, pre and post marriage.”

Anshuman feels Sierra completes him.

“I am in awe of her connection with Nature and Mother Earth. I have immense respect for her work ethic, how she trains, how vanity hasn’t overtaken her existence, how she challenges herself. Also, she is a phenomenal chef and I love her cooking. In a world obsessed with counting likes and followers, I count my blessings in doing what I love, and doing it my way.”

IMAGE: Anshuman and Sierra. Photograph: Kind courtesy Anshuman Jha/Instagram

Anshuman divides his time between the US and India.

“We are in India permanently, but try to be in America in July and December. The pregnancy had made the situation a little different. She will be here for six months because we didn’t want her to travel in her last trimester and want her to recover before coming home to Mumbai. Her mother’s presence here has really helped through this phase. Grandparents are a blessing. I wish my mother was around to see Tara.”

About the long distance marriage, Anshuman protests, “It isn’t really long distance because we are together in India nine months a year. But when we are apart, we write letters to one another by post. We have been doing that since we started dating in 2019. Sometimes, the joy is in the wait. Distance has never been a factor for us. Even when we are together, our individual lives run at the same speed.”

IMAGE: Anshuman Jha in Lakadbagga.

On the work front Anshuman has plenty to look after: “My next is a collaboration with Harish Vyas titled Hari Ka Om, a father-son relationship drama/comedy. I feel it’s my best work this far. Getting to work with Raghubir Yadav is a dream come true.”

Lakadbagga 2 goes on floor mid-year. I have begun training for it physically. My directorial debut Lord Curzon Ki Haveli has two more festivals to attend before a July release this year. I will be directing a rom-com next.”

And yes, Sierra watches his films: “She is my most honest feedback board. She loves Hum Bhi Akele, Tum Bhi Akele the most.”