Relationships, experiences with friends or even strangers… is grist to actor Sushmita Sen’s poetic mill.
“Timid thoughts, do not be afraid of me. I am a poet.” Rabindranath Tagore
A poem is an eternal mystery; peeling off one layer after another only reveals greater depths that lie unexplored. Much like the poem itself is the poetic Sushmita Sen, the depth of whose personality reveals multiple layers. Be it her refusal to withdraw from the beauty pageant when pitted against Aishwarya, the reigning queen bee or her decision to adopt a baby and be a single mother, this woman has defied all rules.
Actor, beauty queen, and single mother, but to people who know her well, she is sensitive and intelligent, with great reservoirs of inner strength. And that seems completely in sync with the fact that Sushmita is also a poet.
Her tryst with poetry goes a long way back to her teenage days, when, she says, “thoughts started demanding expression”. “Writing poetry was a way of expressing what I felt, rather than consciously and skilfully rhyming words,” she explains.
When she brought home the Miss Universe title, the response that got her the coveted crown was almost a spontaneous poetic outburst. Questioned about the essence of a woman in the final round she said, “Just being a woman is God’s gift. The origin of a child is a mother, a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring, and loving is all about. That is the essence of a woman.”
Ask her what poetry means to her and she replies philosophically, “Poems are rhymes of the heart that express one emotion as they are written, but transform into countless different feelings when read by others. No two people can share the same interest in poetry. It is eventually about each one’s connection to a thought in a piece.”
An actor and a poet; both are creative beings in their own way. So how would she compare the two passions of her life? “There is a massive difference between Sushmita the actor and Sushmita the poet,” she says thoughtfully. “Sushmita the actor is often governed by the character she has to play, but the writer is free!”
Her father is also a writer and you could safely say, like father like daughter! In fact, her daughter Renee, too, shares the creative instinct. Sushmita’s enthusiasm bubbles over as she talks about her nine-year-old. “She is a naturally creative person!” she exclaims. “She reads extensively, sings beautifully and has a massive passion for dancing. If her school essays are anything to go by, she’ll leave me far behind as a writer!”
Question her about her favourite writers, and after some deliberation, she picks out three: William Wordsworth, W.H Longfellow and Rabindranath Tagore. As for her own musings, there is no single pattern that she follows. Human relationships, experiences with friends or even strangers, and the thoughts they evoke in her are things you’ll find most often in her poems. That is, if she ever decides its time to share them with the world. “I’ve always felt poets who share their innermost expressions with the world are remarkably courageous,” she declares with a laugh.
That’s Sushmita for you — her world is her own and she intends to keep her many layers, so that none can gauge her true depth.
This column explores the lesser known aspects of well known personalities.
6 months ago