Thinking of god and being positive helps actor Seema Biswas cope with life.
What’s your idea of God?
For me, the image of god is strength. Today, life is so complicated that strength is what we need. Even though I am surrounded by friends and family, there’s just so much they can help you with. So each time I’m in a traumatic mental state, I think of god. I also carry a small idol or photo of a god with me; so whether inside or outside of me, I feel god’s presence.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Mother Teresa is one. I wish I could do what she did — take some pain away from people and give relief. Then, it was Renu ma’am in college who inspired me and pushed me to give my best. At National School of Drama (NSD), it was Surekha Sikri, an actor I greatly admire for her intelligence and dynamism. There was Anuradha Kapoor, who is now the director of NSD, a brilliant teacher and communicator. She used to critique my performances.
How do you deal with life’s challenges?
In my case, unfortunately, language is the biggest challenge — I’m the master of none. I don’t have a command over any language. I remember once when I was doing my make-up in the green room, some seniors remarked ‘why do non-Hindi speaking people come and take our work away?’ I took it up as a challenge and stood first in NSD. I would rather do something than just stand up and say dekh lena main kya kar loongi.
What’s your take on love and happiness?
I don’t know if I can explain love. It’s a beautiful word to begin with. It can be experienced in any moment — whether I’m talking to you right now or watching a bird sit at my window. Love is unlimited. Jitna nafrat mere liya chhota shabd hai, utna love mere liye bada shabd hai…
That’s a nice way of putting it.
I don’t know. I don’t have a treasury of too many words, remember? (Laughs). Happiness is a moment, it’s unpredictable. You can’t decide when you’re going to feel happy. It’s about being connected and it’s about peace.
What would be your solution for communal harmony in India?
Eighty per cent Indians are positive. I appreciate reality shows on TV, where it’s all about singing and dancing — people expressing love, not hatred. It’s the section of politicians who incite tensions, communal or otherwise. It’s the rest of the people, the peace-lovers such as artists, sportspeople, intellectuals, who should come together and just say shut up to the politicians. Jitne positive thinkers hain, they should just say shut up to the rest.