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March 29, 2010

Sushmita Sen on being a Mom and Miss Universe mentor




As usual, Sushmita Sen’s visit to town was not long. But in the span of less than two days, she hosted the Calcutta leg of I Am She, the Miss Universe India pageant, spent time with daddy Shubeer Sen, had dinner at Hushh with family friend Rajat Dalmia on Friday and even squeezed in a visit to Kali Mandir with eight-month-old Alisah on Saturday morning! t2 talks to the lady about her many hats...

What is it about Calcutta that makes you keep coming back?
(Laughs) I feel very lucky. I am one of those privileged few who get to call a huge part of India — in terms of its states — her own. For example I was born in Hyderabad, raised in Delhi, at my core I’m a Bengali. So I’m from everywhere! Calcutta has a very special place in my heart — my Baba lives here. 

Who are you dating now?
I’m as single as they come and I’m not feeling bad at all about it. I have a romantic life, two daughters and my third child, which is I Am She. I just completed No Problem, my first film with Anees Bazmee and I’m excited about that. My world — oops! wrong word, my universe — has opened up! I couldn’t be in a happier state although I have really no time right now to be in a relationship. 

What’s the story behind I Am She?
The reason why I took up the franchise for this beauty pageant is because there’s an emotional connect… it’s all about the first 15 years of my life.

Models use beauty pageants as a gateway to the film industry. Are you trying to change that?
At the age of 18 I had no option because I won this and that and I went on to become an actress. I have no complaints but today another girl should be able to make her choice. It shouldn’t be a no-option situation. The good thing is that so many of the participants are academically driven. Some are working and studying, even supporting their families! Their ambition in life is to do something respectable. The easiest way is to go into Bollywood… easy money, don’t have to be too educated (I’m XII-pass), but if there is someone who says I want to study instead, then we have scholarships for her. The choice is hers.

Define the perfect ‘she’…
As generic as that. That’s why we called it She. We didn’t want to say tall, lovely skin, beautiful eyes, gorgeous hair. But when we say ‘she’, it’s a gender. Which means everything is beautiful about her. And let me tell you another naughty thing about ‘she’: it has the prominent alphabets of my name.

Is the ‘I Am’ tattoo on your wrist for real?
Of course! That’s permanent and so are these: Soli deo glory (shows off her left wrist) and Temptation (on her right arm).

You were going to walk the ramp for Ritu Beri on Day One of Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week (which was cancelled). Will we see you on Day 5?
Oh, I feel very bad about that, very bad. Unfortunately not, because I’ll be going from city to city for this project. But, next time.

How stylish is I Am She going to be?
We’re turning it into the biggest style event of the year. There are fantastic Indian and foreign designers who will be dressing these women. It’s going to be marvellous because they’re going to be walking the ramp in couture clothes and be speaking in Gujarati. There’s no language barrier in the pageant.
It’s the first time the girls will not be groomed in India — but in Italy (Rome)! Also, look out for who’s going to crown the finalists on May 29! That’s what legends are made of — and he’s not an Indian!

How busy are your daughters keeping you?
Very! These days the make-up hour is a funny sight in my life, with a little one in my lap who’s being fed. That’s what my life has become nowadays. I’m on the phone, baby’s (Alisah) having milk, the elder one (Renee) has come with her report card — by the way she’s done very well, moved into Class VI. It’s a good time for me as a mother.

Why haven’t you said yes to any Tollywood films?
Tollywood has to come up with something extraordinary. When I did a Tamil movie there was no problem. Every Tamilian in the country will know and say, ‘Poor thing she’s a Bengali, she’s doing a Tamil film’. But if I do a Bengali film and I behave like that, they’re gonna say, ‘Aamader barir meye thik korey Bangla boltey parey na!’

Read more HERE.

41 comments:

The Illusionist said...

Sush is one actress who has both beauty and brains in bollywood, which is such a rarity. She is very much unconventional and in a positive way.

ApexHeights said...

Brains ? What makes you think that way. I could say well grounded and real but largely and emotional and impulsive person.

Impulsive can never be brainy !!

ApexHeights said...

Initially I used to like her but her recklessness towards relationships in general exposed her frivoluous state of mind.

I would rate Aish higher on a combo of beauty and brains though it may sometime come across calculative.

Pardesi said...

Sushmita is indeed an intelligent woman. Her attitude towards relationships may be taken to reflect her straightforward and non-hypocritical attitude in life. Now that the Supreme court tells us it is legal to be in a relationship without marriage, we are judging a person for doing that?

Next someone would say Sir Richard Burton was not an intelligent man, why did he marry, divorce and remarry the same woman multiple times?

ApexHeights said...

Agree there, but we must also not equate eccentricities with intelligence.

Nothing until now that Sushmita has done makes us believe she is an intelligent person. She may be savvy and smart and lived life on her own terms and we shouldn't be judgmental about that , but to be termed intelligent will require more from her.

Pardesi said...

She is intelligent as evidenced by her knowledge of the world around her, and her answers to questions posed. Unlike Aishwarya, who comes across as a giggly simpering teenager in interviews, Ms. Sen is always poised and articulate. Same can be said of Lara Dutta and Konkona Sen Sharma.

Minnie said...

This comment reeks of the hypocritical double standards prevalent in the Indian society towards women. The puritanical and regressive mindset of some people never ceases to amaze me. Since it is a woman we are talking about, she is instantly judged as being frivolous due to her relationships. Why is it that we don’t think of the obvious explanation first? Maybe the relationships were not right for her, maybe the men in question were jerks unworthy of her love? Why is it that despite being single, she is not allowed the freedom to be in and out of relationships? And why is it that male actors are allowed to go scot-free when it comes to committing a far greater crime like infidelity? I don’t see anybody tripping themselves over in trying to criticize Amitabh Bachchan or Aamir Khan for their shenanigans outside of marriage! I think no one really cares how many times their favorite star marries or has affairs as long as he projects this “intellectual” image. A person like music maestro Ravi Shankar’s string of affairs with different women while being married is well-known to everyone. Does that make him any less revered? Is it that virtue for the woman is fidelity whereas for a man, it is infidelity?

Minnie said...

As far as Sush’s intelligence is concerned, the way she conducts herself in public events and interviews demonstrates ample evidence of her brains! It was her answers in the beauty pageants that won her the crown over the definitely-more-beautiful Ash. At the very least, she conducts herself with immense class and doesn’t giggle like a silly school girl in every national or international interview like Ash does! I’d take an impulsive person over a manipulative one any hour of the day! Also, the statement that impulsive can never be brainy is actually incorrect. Various psychological studies conducted have proven that creative people actually are inclined to be more impulsive. IQ is not really all that it’s cracked up to be ! Emotional Quotient is what determines the quality of life of an individual and Sush seems to have enough of that!

Pardesi said...

Bravo Minnie - you spoke my mind. Sushmita's affairs are her concern, or let us rake up every affair anyone ever had. Bengali women are ahead of the curve in intelligence and self-respect. This is why we have world-class directors like Aparna Sen with unique sensibilities. And this is why we have women like Lara, Sushmita and Konkona who have relationships that may not fit into the hidebound societal rules, but it is their business.

Aside from all this, Sushmita is a fine actress too, sadly she never really got her due.

The Illusionist said...

@Minnie - Very well said. As always you have spoken from the heart.

@Pardesi - "Bengali women are ahead of the curve in intelligence and self-respect."
Hmmm.. this kind of comparison does not feel right. Why bring regionalism into this ?

Pardesi said...

You are right Illusionist - it is regionalism, but I hope unbiased, since I am excluded from that region. I have spoken about what my sense is of the women in that region. Maybe some will disagree. So be it. Maybe it was the communist nature of the region, and that ideology brings a lot of social ills, but it does not support gender bias. Add to it the fact that forward thinking social leaders like Raja Ram Mohan Roy actively forwarded the equality of women. I can safely say that Bihari and UP women are at the lowest end of the curve when it comes to self-respect. It may have to do with how these women are treated in the society they are a part of.

Minnie said...

The status of women in various societies has always been a direct reflection of the literacy levels of their women. Various states like Bengal, Maharashtra and Kerala have always been far ahead in female literacy than the BIMARU states. Obviously, women from these regions are aware of their rights and lead more liberated lives than their sisters from the backward regions.

Doga said...

Born and Raised in Bengal, surely i know Bengali Girls KickAssed all the boys in Studies for sure.(But thats a common thing in India in General too).

Women definitely should have same freedom as men have, relationships or otherwise.

As for Sushmita's Intelligence, i need to meet her for any comment on that. ;)

ApexHeights said...

Fair enough and I agree with what most of you say here. But Sush with her recent actions and lost favor with me completely. What hit the nail on the head was her collaboration for Dulha Mil Gaya with Mr. Sheikh which was an awfully bad movie and tested audience’s intelligence. Her indulgence with everything associated there was a bit surprising for me…. It is hard for me to term her intelligent even after that politically correct answer on the miss universe podium. Nothing since then she has done to make us feel like a intelligent vibrant Indian woman.

May be opening a can of worms here but I find intelligent women are attractive and she no more attracts me in whichever way you interpret

ApexHeights said...

And for the record I don’t propagate or believe in what many call the "b itch syndrome"; if a man does it he's strong and assertive, but if a woman does it she's a bitch. That's not my belief.

ApexHeights said...

Aish does come across giggly, chirpy or superficial but she seems intelligent underneath. Her smart mind has given her an advantage over others in many areas of life…...

Pardesi said...

Sushmita rightly chose DMG as a film focused around HER. Yes it was bad, but still as an actress DMG, AN and DBH are better for an actresses graph than successes like SIK. In each of those aforementioned films the leading lady actually got a chance to prove she can act.

Attractive? Can be found a dime a dozen in the Diya and Katrina and Koena types. A sharp mind has its own attractiveness.

ApexHeights said...

Just having a movie focused around you shouldn’t be enough for her since she decided to come to the movies through the non traditional channel. With resources at hand choosing an intelligent script is the least expected out of her…

If you read my comment above I say the same thing on attractiveness that an intelligent woman is much more attractive than a dumb beauty though kat for all we know may be a very sharp and intelligent woman. We were talking about beauty and brains combo in sushmita which I disagree with. Further her physical beauty has kind of diminished due to her not so intelligent ways…

Beauty and brains, pleasure and usability - they should go hand in hand..

Pardesi said...

Having a movie focused around you - THAT REQUIRES acting chops, that is key. And Sushmita's act was soundly praised by all critics. Or she could just be a bimbo in the next Priyan film. I see no other choices in front of her at the moment. So she made a MOST intelligent choice - better a DMG than a DDD as an actress.

If Kat is intelligent then we need a new definition of that term. As for attractiveness, age brings its own attractiveness, but maybe not in the eye of most males who are looking at the next centerfold.

ApexHeights said...

“THAT REQUIRES acting chops.." Excuse me Pardesi but jahan se main dekh raha hoon it was more ham chops and after a while digesting them became an issue.

ApexHeights said...

and wrt to DDD the song kyun paisa paisa kartee hai...defined kat's role

Pardesi said...

Jahaan se main dekh rahi hoon - Sushmita in DMG = 50X Kat in anything, including Paisa song. In fact Kat should just "act" in music videos, moving pictures in scant clothing should keep her fans happy. In movies all she can be is an NRI, a Cristian who never spoke Hindi, or just a speechless woman. Cannot see her succeeding in anything that really requires acting - big part of acting is speech and diction. For that we need actors like Madhuri, Sushmita, and Rani.

ApexHeights said...

Tchhh … talking about madz in the same breath as sushmita…
Not going to defend Kat here but in short she provides value for money. Her case is - so far so good and what next? From hearsay she is graduating to yrf and dharma or what have you… I see similar to Aish , Kat will gain the ultimate acceptability and will be a bollywood force.

Pardesi said...

Kat may graduate to whoever she wants - BUT until she can speak clearly and in Hindi she will only be a pinup girl. It is not about the language you speak but how you speak it - thus ladies from the South, Hema, Vyjayanthi, were potent forces as they could enunciate clearly even if in accented Hindi. With the flopping of Yuvraaj and lackluster performance of DDD even her value as good luck charm is waning. So what is left? Pin-up girl.

About hamming - I have a theory. If you like the actor (here read Kajol) then the same kind of loud performance is appreciated, if you dislike the actor (here read Sushmita) then it is hamming. Hamming is only in the eyes of the beholder and based completely on whether or not they like the actor in question.

ApexHeights said...

You make your point fair and valid but give Katrina a chance to bloom...

My dear don’t you think she is still at a moulding stage. hopefully Prakash Jha of Damul fame will mould her just perfect with Rajneeti.

ApexHeights said...

more so with the dictions

Pardesi said...

She will play yet another non-Hindi speaking role in Rajneeti - good luck on seeing improved diction.

How many years has Katrina been blooming in BW? I have no idea, but I think enough to learn to speak Hindi if she was capable of that.

ApexHeights said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ApexHeights said...

please don’t imply that she delivers her dialogues in French…..until now she has been a massy actor and has connected well with the regular folks. The girl has come up the hard way doing tiny/ itsy bitsy roles. It’s the success of these roles that he has led the big guns interested in her.

Pardesi said...

She delivers her dialogs in Martian or Venutian or something, and if anyone thinks she connects to the masses due to her dialog delivery.... ;-)

ApexHeights said...

Don’t wish to stress too much on kat on a discussion thread about sush but there is an inherent charm the way kat delivers her dialogue….plus the british accent which is known to attract opposite sexes time and again which she possess or whatever is left does build an aura around her…

Pardesi said...

I believe Aishwarya was brought into a discussion about Sushmita. That opened the door to other comparisons. If that accent is British then it will be news to the British too!!! What attracts the opposite sex is NOT any accent, but the phoren looks.

ApexHeights said...

To end on a positive note, I do look forward to a Sush movie in near future and it has been reported that Sushmita will portray Benazir Bhutto in some British production and will be more about Bhutto’s growing up years and years as a student and later as a political leader in exile. Hope she does justice to this character and is able understand and portray the role correctly.

Avis said...

I have never seen a beautiful woman in a mutton shop...otherwise I would have seen beauty with brains... :)

Just kidding...dont jump on me :)

Minnie said...

LOL...Pardesi...The so-called charming british accent of Kat that people talk about is actually a cockney accent and clearly not the Queen's English that you are familiar with !!
Actually the very fact that woman and mutton shop can be talked about in the same breath gives you a fair idea of the general direction of thoughts !!
Give Indian men fair skin and a full figure...bingo..they can see intelligence in any ditzy airhead!!

ApexHeights said...

Don’t know if it is cockney accent or brit but Kat does come across elegant in her speech… her outwardly appearance is calm composed and until now she has not been hit with foot in the mouth syndrome.

Avis said...

Donno whether Kat's speaks the Queen's English or not, but she is perfect to be the QUEEN awrigh....

Pardesi said...

Kat is the epitome of beauty with little brains and poor diction. Anyone who doubts this should watch the KBC episode where Salman and SRK made so much tongue in cheek fun of her and she was clueless. So yes, she is the entire mutton shop, and bheja is not sold in THAT shop!

ApexHeights said...

There are times people just act dumb or simply play along for the sake of continuity or for the moment. I am sure many would have done that here too …more so if it’s for someone you love dearly and someone who is going through a rough patch.

Remember bringing Salman / Katrina on the show was a spur of the moment decision to combat the media over drive since aish was getting married the same day …..this was a show of solidarity , support etc for salman who must be feeling awful. Kat was smart enough to not make salman bad or snub him on the show esp since he is known to have a twisted sense of humor.

Lately she was on Lift Kara De and conducted herself brilliantly.

ApexHeights said...

"So yes, she is the entire mutton shop, and bheja is not sold in THAT shop!" -

that is very harsh !

For my personal experience it’s the fair sex which has aversion to bheja fry when confronted with a mutton menu in a men meat shop ........aren’t they more interested with fatty cats…

Pardesi said...

I did not bring in the mutton shop analogy! To think that Sushmita is in any way lesser in looks than Katrina is laughable to me. All Kat has going for her is phoren looks! Maybe I can be sexist in return and say that perhaps some Indian males have a fascination for the phoren female? As for that show with Salman - one has to see the puzzled Katrina who was not even getting half the jokes at all. She may have learned to tone down her dumbness in a few years.

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