Sunday, July 14, 2024

CELEB TALK :‘When life gives you a second chance, you value it more’

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Actress and 1994 Miss Universe Sushmita Sen, who to date radiates optimism with the glow that she’s always had, speaks to The Pioneer’s Tejal Sinha about fashion, her love for watches, and her upcoming web series Taali.
Sushmita Sen — when one thinks of her, all that comes to mind is. She’s always been one of the celebrities that the industry has been blessed with, and she never fails to inspire the audience. Even today, she still exudes a young glow and can compete with any actress in the business. In addition to being a fitness enthusiast, Sushmita is a kind person who consistently radiates optimism.
It’s been over 29 years since she was crowned Miss Universe, and to date, she is still renowned for her style. Do you also wonder about her fashion mantra? Well, today we’ve got the diva herself onboard, who exclusively speaks to us about her fashion, upcoming project Taali, and more.
“I’m somebody who doesn’t like to dress up with a lot of different accessories in my personal life unless I’m doing a film,” says the Aarya actor, adding, “I don’t follow trends; I never have. I think style, like all other aspects of your life, is ever-changing! So one thing works today and another thing works tomorrow, depending on your mood, your state of evolution, and your experiences.”
As kids, most of us dreamed of becoming actors, singers, or doctors. But would you believe if we said that the Main Hoon Na actor, who has been an inspiration to many of us since childhood, had always wanted to reach people’s hearts? “Since I was a child, I had one desire, which was to reach people’s hearts, that relationship that people have with their loved ones at home. I wanted to share that with the entire country. So that’s something I never forgot — through good times and bad, that stayed with me, and that kept me going.”
Since being titled Femina Miss India and Miss Universe in 1994, something that’s been a constant for her over the last decade has been comfort, and then comes everything else. She believes, “If you’re not comfortable, it clearly shows, and to me, that’s not stylish. For me, style is very personal and a representation of who you are, so maybe that’s why people put so much thought into it. Being stylish isn’t just about the clothes you wear or the accessories you choose. It’s about the way you feel. Wearing a bold watch like the one I have on (Art Deco Automatic from Nebula by Titan) makes me feel very warrior-like and empowered.”
As we were also discussing watches, she had recently launched Nebula by Titan’s Art Deco collection. And we were eager to know what was something that attracted her the most to get on board, and she says, “Well, if you look at this watch, it’s made of gold, which is really timeless and always beautiful. Its design is inspired by a style of architecture called Art Deco, which first began in France 100 years ago. That style became popular across the world, including in India. I learned just recently that Mumbai has the second-largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world! And this collection of seven watches from Nebula is inspired by that legacy. We are literally in the lap of heritage, and that’s also timeless. I love that about the collection — the fact that it celebrates India and the world, the modernity of it.”
She’s in fact someone who buys a watch so that she can pass it on to her children, and then it can be further passed on. So yes, she says, “I think the very vintage quality of a brand that you trust in and deeply admire is also important.”
Going further, she also sheds some light on the important life lesson she would give to her daughters, which is to value authenticity and being true to oneself. “It’s an often repeated statement, but it’s very easy to become someone else because that’s how the world perceives us. The greatest success you can ever have is to be yourself.”
If you’d noticed, we mentioned her as an inspiration several times in our interview today. She has truly been an inspiration, not only to date with her journey but having recently also spoken in length about suffering a heart attack and recovering from it. And for her, this phase was short-lived. “I’m extremely fortunate to be on the other side. I no longer feel afraid of it; instead, I feel hopeful and have something to look forward to. When you are given a second chance at life, you value it more and are more cautious.”
While we could not stop hoping for her to be fit and fine, the team behind Taali had recently released an outstanding teaser for the web series. Sushmita is seen wearing a sari and adjusting her big bindi at the start of the teaser as she looks at herself in the mirror. One can see a photo of queer icon and iconic singer Usha Uthup on her cupboard. We then see members of the transgender community greet and touch the feet of Sushmita, who plays Shreegauri Sawant. Initially, when the project was announced and the first look was released, the actress and filmmakers faced a lot of flak for not hiring a trans actor to play the lead role. However, her performance, as shown in the teaser, has shut down her haters for good.
“It was very empowering. And I’m hoping that the honesty with which I have tried to portray the story of Gauri Sawant’s life comes through, because it’s a tribute, more than a performance, not just to her but to the whole community. I have tried to portray the story of Gauri Sawant’s life so that honesty comes through, because it’s a tribute, more than a performance, not just to her but to the whole community,” she signs off on a brighter note.
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