Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Proud to be a Bengali

A chat with Bengali starlet and serial store ribbon cutter Raima Sen…

Interviewer: Raima, you have a movie coming out called The Japanese Wife directed by Aparna Sen…What was it like playing a widow with a 8 year old son?

Raima: It was very challenging… The difficult part was the body language…Aparna wanted me to look like a widow who is used to doing housework and very graceful in her movements… Since my family is privileged (for those of you who don’t know, her father is a member??? of the Tripura royal family and her mother is Moon Moon Sen), I’ve never lifted a finger at home…Hearing this, Aparna sent me for a workshop…During this 15-day workshop, I learnt how to cook, clean, swab the floor, make the bed, light a lantern and cut vegetables on a boti…There is a certain rhythm even to swabbing the floor…It was all very interesting!

Interviewer: Why don’t we see you more often on screen? Why do we see you more on Page 3 inaugurating stores and dancing at weddings?

Raima: I want to have a long career…I don’t want to get burnt out doing unnecessary films, like small, commercial films…I want to create a mark…In Mumbai there’s too much pressure…Girls are very replaceable; men are not…It’s important to create your own identity…The producer should say ‘I want only her for the film and she is not replaceable’…Because of my choosiness I have a lot of free time and I utilize this time by helping friends with their business ventures (stores) and weddings…

Interviewer: How is Moon Moon Sen as a mother? What was your upbringing like?

Raima: We’ve had a very modern upbringing…We didn’t do pujas at home…We speak in English at home, not Bengali. Most of my friends have been Anglo-Indians…

(The portions of the interview in bold and italics are from an interview given to the Deccan Herald)