She is credited with starting the ‘herbal beauty’ revolution in India, and resurrecting and showcasing Ayurveda to the rest of the world. Her client list reads like a veritable who’s who.
She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India, and The Washington Post gave her the sobriquet of ‘India’s Beauty Ambassador’. Shahnaz Husain says she is a self-made woman through and through. Upala Sen traps the herbal queen into a Q&A session.
The craziest thing you have ever done?
I went pillion riding on my son’s motorbike on the beach in Goa at top speed.
Your best traits?
Grit and determination.
And your worst?
My hypersensitive nature and emotional vulnerability.
If you could blow up a million bucks in one day, what would you spend it all on?
On Shamute, my free beauty training school for the speech and hearing impaired.
What makes you laugh?
Simple things – funny people and hilarious situations.
What makes you angry?
When someone you trust blindly lets you down.
What do you like to spend on?
On unusual, beautiful and quaint artefacts.
Your favourite ghar ka khana
Hot dal, roti and green chillies.
Two guests you would love to have home for dinner and why.
Indira Gandhi and Mother Teresa. They were both icons of inner strength.
What would you wear on a hot date?
A white, flowing attire – white is my favourite colour.
What is in your handbag?
Perfume, kajal, pocket notebook, pen and credit cards.
One bad habit you wish you could get rid of?
Trusting people blindly and then getting stabbed in the back. You get bored when... I’m not working.
What is on your bedside table?
Flowers, photographs of my children and grandchildren.
Your worst nightmare?
I wake up to a world where I have nothing to keep my mind occupied.
What is the last book you read and liked and why?
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It is one of those timeless books – powerful, honest, touching and extremely well-written.
Your favourite cities in the world?
London and Delhi.
The stress buster that always works for you?
Writing poetry or painting.
The sexiest woman you can think of?
Your guilty passion/secret?
Cadbury’s milk chocolate.