Sushmita Sen, former Miss Universe has carved a unique place in every individual’s heart. Blessed with a rare quality unlike other celebrities, Sen’s falling career graph has never come as a hindrance in her way of charming people with her benevolence. She is a perfect example of ‘beauty with brains’. For a woman who never went to college, Sushmita is not just self-assured and articulate, but also remarkably well read and philosophical.

When Sakhi approached her for a little chit-chat, she not only agreed but turned out to be a perfect host. On meeting her, we could not take eyes off her. The one thing that kept us glued to Sushmita was her ‘perfectly toned body’ with no extra pounds. During the chats she not just revealed about her tattoo but also tried to create an easy atmosphere for us. Here are excerpts from the interview with Sakhi.

Q. You looked out of shape lately, but now you are back with a perfectly toned body.
A. No, I wasn’t out of shape ever. I put on weight because the character I was portraying demanded that. Normally we need to adhere to the requirement of the roles and act accordingly. Now that I have completed my role, I have abandoned the look and am back to my normal shape.

Q. Do you believe in ‘size zero’ concept?
A: No not at all! In fact there is nothing like ‘size zero’. Every individual should lose weight according to his or her physique and DNA type. Losing weight depends on the type of your DNA. But in my case, it’s a bit different because I look good even when I gain weight. (she said with a grin)

Q: When we are talking about your looks, we just cannot miss your tattoo. What is the meaning of the tattoo ‘I Am’ on your hand?
A: This catch line is based on my belief. I interpret this according to the situation. This is my fourth tattoo and is dedicated to my company ‘I Am She’. Many of my company staffs have made this tattoo on their bodies. While my staffs were applying the tattoo on their bodies, a lady who was in a rough phase of her life asked the concept of the tattoo. And when she came to know about the concept, she was so impressed that she also got the tattoo made on her body.

Q: Have you ever thought of tattooing the name of any male?
A: (Laughs) I would never do this mistake. Even if I ever decide to tattoo any male’s name on my body that would be my son.

Q: So now you are planning to adopt a baby boy?
A: Why adoption…I can even be a biological mother.

Q: So you have marriage plans also?
A: I didn’t say that. Yah it’s true that I do think about my ‘prince charming’ but I can’t behave like a 12-year-old immature girl at this age.

Q: Has your elder daughter Renee accepted her sibling Alisha?
A: Absolutely. She is very comfortable. Although I was very afraid about how Renee would adjust to the new addition in the family, but now she behaves just like her mother and takes utmost care of Alisha. Not only this, she even assures that I take proper care of Alisha. Even if I am in a board meeting, Renee calls me when Alisha starts crying. She is always with her.

Q: Will your daughters follow your footsteps as far as career is concerned?
A: Renee has however decided that she is going to take up acting as her career, but Alisha is too young for all this. But Alisha was the first one to see the crowd of ‘I Am She’, let’s hope that she also does something like this.

Q: You have won the ‘Miss Universe’ pageant. And now you have organized a ‘Miss Universe’ show, what is the difference?
A: I got the opportunity to organise the contest because I was ‘Miss Universe’. Earlier also, the organisers had given this responsibility to an ex-Miss Universe although this was not followed in India. But luckily I got the chance. Through ‘I Am She’ we have decided to hold a contest which would attract not only Indians but also outsiders. Many times we Indians do not even know who is representing India in the Miss Universe contest. If girls like us start getting the support from India, then we would automatically gain the confidence of proving it in the international stage.

Q: In the last contest of ‘I Am She’, what according to you were the shortcomings that you would keep in mind for the next time?
A: I can’t find any loopholes in the last contest of ‘I Am She’ rather I am grateful that they gave me a chance to reach there. And when it comes to winning the title of ‘I Am She’, then there is a particular criterion for winning it. We were searching for a girl with an original individuality. She should be able to decide things of her own and should have the confidence to face the world.

Q: We totally agree with you, but it has been seen that all beauty contests try to zero in on a ‘women of substance.’ But they fail in their endeavor. Till date, other than you and Lara Dutta, no other beauty queen has shown so much promise in herself. Does this mean that the contests held are futile? Do these contests need to find out a different criterion? Are you looking for anything else?
A: We can’t say that the winners of earlier contests were not correct. There are many successful Miss India’s. But we are looking for someone different who should be brave enough to speak out, even if her believes do not match with the society’s thinking. She should not be diplomatic and should have high spirits.

Q: We are not talking about success but speaking about views. In that case even if Aishwarya Rai is successful, we hardly see her speaking out.
A: Aishwarya has her own identity and I am very fond of her. She has her own uniqueness and so she is in that position.

Q: Both of you had started your career together but when it comes to films she has moved much ahead. Do you feel that you made some mistakes somewhere?
A: First of all we didn’t start our careers together. We came together on the platter of Miss India, I was completely new to this industry, but Aishwarya had sufficient experience. And also I am happy to be where I am. I believe in self satisfaction. The entire industry is very proud of Aishwarya. She took our industry to an international level.

Q: Many of your films did not work out in the box office. Any regrets?
A: Not at all, in fact after every flop, I have become more confident and started a new venture. So flops do not matter to me much.

Q: Coming to your relationships, what according to you is the reason for the failure of your relationships?
A: Nothing goes wrong. The only thing I do not like in a relationship is ‘compromises’. I think that compromises cannot withstand for long. I prefer sacrifice over compromise. I believe that when you start compromising, you start blaming each other and then start saying, ‘I did this for you’. This is not acceptable for me so there is no midway in my case.

Q: Earlier you used to talk openly about your relationships but now you avoid doing so. Why?
A: Which you are terming as being secretive, I term it as privacy for the other person. With time I have learnt that there is a privacy level of the other person. I am answerable only for myself. Until I don’t get into other’s privacy, I keep revealing things without hurting anyone. I am not secretive but am sensitive.

(JPN/ Sakhi)