Lisa Ray: I am quite misunderstood in India because I don’t do commercial films | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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Lisa Ray: I am quite misunderstood in India because I don’t do commercial films

Actor Lisa Ray says she denied doing commercial projects because as a Bengali, she believes in promoting art and money isn’t everything for her.

bollywood Updated: Sep 24, 2017 18:19 IST
Naina Arora
Actor Lisa Ray says money isn’t everything for her, and as a Bengali she values art more.
Actor Lisa Ray says money isn’t everything for her, and as a Bengali she values art more. (Amal KS/HT Photo)

Lisa Ray may have charmed many with her acting skills in Bollywood, but few know that this actor is a self-confessed bookworm who keeps huge stacks of books by her side. And fuelled by the desire for the written word, she has decided to pen a book on poetry, which will be out by next year.

“As a child, I was an introvert and tried to figure out a profession that would have the least possible human contact. Thus, I wanted to be a writer. But my life got diverted”.

“I think, I’m a writer, who accidentally became an actor. Writing has always been my parallel passion. My father is Bengali, so reading has been part of my upbringing. In fact, as a child, I was an introvert and tried to figure out a profession that would have the least possible human contact. Thus, I wanted to be a writer. But my life got diverted,” says the actor popular for her roles in films such as Kasoor (2001), Water (2005).

At an event, recently organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) in Delhi, Lisa said that like a true Bong she loves the Durga Puja celebrations. Reminiscing her childhood memories, associated with the festival, she says, “I grew up in Canada, till I was 16. Thereafter, I ended up in Mumbai. Even though we were not in Kolkata for Pujo, we would celebrate it, while staying abroad. Bengalis in Toronto would get together and my favourite was the khichdi [at the pandal].”

However, on her recent trip to Delhi, she decided to give pandal-hopping a miss. “I’ll be chilling with my friends here. I’m taking a few days off and will go for a walk in Nizamuddin,” she says.

“I have to be honest, [I’m] quite misunderstood in India. I genuinely have been someone who cherishes experiences, as opposed to a career. There is a reason I have always said no to out-and-out commercial projects, because it didn’t resonate with me. And as a Bengali, money is not everything. We believe in art, discussing all the world’s problems, solving them.”

Lisa was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009, and is known for having fought back the virus. She says, “Cancer has made me brave to pursue things that I wasn’t brave enough to pursue before.”

Recently seen in the supernatural flick Dobaara: See Your Evil (2017), she doesn’t feel the need to take the pressure of working back to back. “I am 45. I have seen how the world has evolved. And, I think, it’s important to ask questions. Just because now the definition of success is working 14 hours a day, it doesn’t mean you have to accept it. To be honest, [I’m] quite misunderstood in India. I have been someone who cherishes experiences, as opposed to a career. There is a reason I have always said no to out-and-out commercial projects because it didn’t resonate with me. As a Bengali, I feel money is not everything. We believe in art and in discussing world’s problems solving them,” she says.

And what’s the secret of her cheerful state? “The secret is to give time to ourselves. And it’s individual for everyone. For me, I need quiet time to reflect, do my yoga, meditate, and go on retreats. Harmony is not a leisurely thing for me, it’s a tactic to maintain my health now!”

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