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Riya Sen: Comfortable in Her Skin

Chitra Sanam

Short staccato sentences with absolutely no fancy-smanchy lingo! That summed up our conversation with Riya Sen. She was in her powder room blow-drying her hair, when we wanted to chat. While she coiffed her hair, we waited and mulled over her star persona. 
It seems as though that’s a family heirloom passed on to her from grandmother Suchitra Sen and mother Mun Mun Sen. Each of course with individual oomph that makes many go gaga. OMG! Aren’t we still reeling from Salman Rushdie having put his socializing on hold to spend a memorable evening with Riya Sen in Mumbai. If it’s celeb presence, Riya Sen sure has oodles of it, and not to mention her royal other side. Her paternal aunt is the famed Rajamata Gayatri Devi. 

But all said and done, not even for a moment is she unaware of the bias that fellow Indians grapple with when it comes to being prejudiced about beauty and skin tones. “India is very judgmental about people and their image. You don’t expect that from a nation that’s high on IQ, with utmost importance being given to educated individuals. A person with a sexy image can be smart, and an intelligent person can be fun to hang out with too,” she says.

But make no mistake, she still buys into the concept of “beauty being skin deep.” It works both ways for the actress who has a huge fan following ever since she made her debut with Falguni Pathak’s music video. “Beauty is skin deep. I’m a huge fan of looking good. But I also admire down to earth, kind and friendly people – basically good natured people,” she explains. On that same note she reasons about the craze for whitening creams in our country. “If you can have tanning salons, then what’s wrong with Fair and Lovely? Nothing should be banned, but people should be left alone and not be bothered about their looks,” she says.

Would that mean she’d even wave a white flag and head for a nip and tuck or maybe even rhinoplasty, in her pursuit of looking good? She remarks, “If cosmetic surgery is going to make one feel a lot more happier mentally, then why not? I’m happy with the way I look, but maybe later I may choose to give it a try. Or maybe I won’t.” That only time will tell. For now, the spotlight’s on Rituparna Ghosh’s Bengali film that’s she’s excited about. Besides which, a healthy, chillax attitude puts the zing in her life. She says, “I believe in living a balanced life, or else you can get hooked on detox and more detox, or just drink and smoke way too much… I work out sometimes. Everyone’s big on yoga, that’s something that’s got me interested too. Giving life a balanced outlook makes all the difference.” 


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