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Life is a teacher

Sharmila tagore talks about happiness and freedom as she gears up for the release of her first Marathi film.

entertainment Updated: Aug 30, 2009 00:40 IST

Sharmila tagore talks about happiness and freedom as she gears up for the release of her first Marathi film

Do you practice spirituality in life?

I turn to nature for peace of mind. I like open spaces. I have to be on my own for a while during the day; I enjoy my own company the best.

When you introspect, you do find a perspective. And you always know when you’ve done something wrong — like told a lie or felt envious. So, if you keep watching yourself, chances are you’ll do it less often.

What does happiness mean to you?

I’m very low maintenance. My freedom and independence are most important to me. I should be free to do whatever I want to — an option I absolutely treasure and wouldn’t exchange for anything. Happiness comes from being free. Looking at a flower or playing with a child strengthens your belief that there’s something to live for.

Material things are good too, but they are finite since they can’t change shape, whereas, say, sunlight changes all the time. Discovering new things in nature is so rewarding and healing. I can’t hang on to negative feelings. There’s so much to be happy about.

Greatest influences?

My teacher Mother JB, because she tormented me into learning English when I went from a Bengali medium school to an English one at 13. I didn’t know a word of English! I’ve also been influenced by my grandmother, Satyajit Ray… books like Dostoevsky’s The Idiot and films like The Night of the Iguana. Then, the Dalai Lama, who makes you realise that rude and nasty people are your constituency. What’s special about being patient with those who are
listening to you anyway?

What’s your idea of God?

An encompassing, noble and kind force. Life’s a teacher. Whether you learn things at the right time or not, learn you must. If you learn at the right time, you pay a lesser price. But you will be made to feel what you need to feel.

— Shalini Singh