I remember our house would always be full. Lots of parties, people, laughter, merrymaking. Both my parents were very fond of entertaining and even as a child I was constantly meeting people. My parents, I remember was always late for their flights because of this.

Contrary to what people think my mother was a great funster and loved laughter. I was most of the time away at boarding school and came home only for short period. So my parents made it a point to include me in all their activities.

Unlike them, I was shy and an introvert and would cling to my mother’s pallav. She was very glamorous. I can remember her dressed in the evenings in black lace and red feathers. She would want to do everything in a lavish grand manner and her film star lifestyle did permeate into my little world.

My father was an amateur motor racer and he too was very fond of the good things of life. Home to me was wherever my parents would happen to be…Ballygunge place in Calcutta or Mafatlal Park in Bombay or our flat in London.

They loved travelling and I motored around with them, in India and abroad. Whenever I was with them I got large doses of affection. My husband and I make sure we give the same to our two daughters. We used to celebrate Diwali, Christmas, Easter, and Durga puja in a big way.

Everything was always larger than life. Easter cakes would be distributed to everybody in my class. Durga and Sarasvati puja would also be done on a lavish scale. We used to hire Lorries and pile into them for bhasan. All this we sopped after my father’s death because of the memories associated with them.

Only recently I have again started celebrating these things for the sake of my daughters. Our house was full of pets. We used to have baby leopards, peacocks, dogs, goats. My birthdays too were elaborate affairs.

  • moon moon sen filmfare

But I used to hate my birthday parties and hated getting dolled up in satin ghangras and tiaras. But my mother would want the best of everything for me. She was very keen that I learn the arts and stay away from films.

Nothing made her happier than a painting that I had done or a wall to wall alpana design or I read out a poem I had composed. I used to even bribe her with these things if I wanted to get around her. She’d take special pride in such activities and sit up all night helping me do cut-outs for animation films which I made for the communication centre.

My mother always insisted on speaking in Bengali with me and through her I got introduced to the fascinating world of Thakurmar Jhuli. My father on the other hand introduced me to Western classical music and games like scrabble.

People often wonder how I know so much about such music. It is thanks to him that I’m familiar with the best of western classical music. He also encouraged me to read lit. Though I was fairly intelligent because of these interests regular school curriculum never really caught my attention.

That is why I do not force these things on my daughters either. I would like them also understand and appreciate different forms whether it be painting or dancing whatever. When I grew older my mother took me along to film shows.

Though I was the daughter of an Indian actress I would watch more Hollywood films. My love for film stems from these most enjoyable evenings spent with her at the theatres. For adult films she’d smuggle me in, wearing her clothes make me look older.

We nearly got there out once when we went to see c September. Boarding school life made me extremely independent. Even today no vant can blackmail me because I can make a house perfectly well without domestic.

My mothers work as an actress never really interested me though I would help her with her costumes, her jewellery and apply chandan on her face. I loved accompanying her on outdoor schedules. But as I grew up she started cutting me from the industry, refusing to allow photographs of mine to be taken or allowed to be included in any interviews.

She would do anything to divert me from acting. When I signed for my first film she didn’t talk to me for three months. I visited her regularly spent time in her house but no word would be spoken between us. When I came back from England finishing school, I joined Loreto College for my BA.

But these were the dullest years of my life. I found the course very boring and uninspiring. University life was far more boring than what I did my post-graduation in computer literature we also had abstract theatre and film appreciation as a part of our course was a subject that was growing these two years of my academic life.

I found my bearings at the university. Here and at chitrabaani I stayed being my mother’s daughter. Through my friends at the university introduced to the dosas at Nirmal’s at Bengali theatre.

Till now I had been up on a diet of boiled food! Along with my studies, I did a section in chitrabaani as a graphic artiste. We worked for educational films for TV. My actual work was to make the covers for the relief organisations. I’d visit areas where they worked and told them how to make posters and flashbacks that would educate the people without the necessity for language.

Through visuals we teach them how to be safe from TB or alcohol was dangerous for health or food was nutritious and so on. What great about chitrabaani was that we had the privilege of visiting lecturers like John Kobal with the largest and most exclusive picture of Greta Garbo, filmmakers like the director Zanussi, Nirad Mohapatra.

His family is extremely kind and considerate and always has time for people which I think is the hallmark of culture. After my years at the university, it was a marriage that moulded me into what I am today. Suddenly a much larger world opened out before me.

Two years after marriage after I’d got over the charm of hand towels, dhobi keeping and such trivia I conceived for the first time. But I lost my baby. I was very upset. But habi was so wonderful. He said: never mind this is just a setback”.

Whenever anything goes wrong this is how he consoles me. He has taught me to treat all the downers of life as temporary setbacks. When I lost my baby he encouraged me to take up modelling so I’d have something to look forward to.

I went around personally leaving my photographs at ad agencies and letting them I was keen to work. I never used my mother’s contact. Like my father habi introduced me to good things of life to sensuous pleasures like lobsters in goa and Japanese food in Kathmandu.

There is so much of my father in him. I remember my father making juice every morning for my mother. Habi takes care of me just like my father did of my mother. The age difference between us is also similar to that of my parents!

He is an ideal anchor for me. Keeps me down to earth. I used to fancy myself as being very intelligent till I met him. He makes me out to be absolutely empty-headed he jokes about everything I say. He says I’m forever saying the wrong things and creating pandemonium wherever I am because of my mouth.

But I’ll not change myself as an individual. I like myself as I am. It’s taken a lot of hard work to reach a stage when I can say I’m proud of myself. And I refuse to conform to the behaviour patterns of the filmi setup! – Filmfare 1985

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *