Model-actor Lisa Ray who was in the city talks about reinventing herself and living life to the fullest
As journalists, over a period of time we grudgingly get used to events starting late. But it comes as a surprise when the launch of a watch store doesn’t start on time... an hour late.
Finally, beefy bouncers in black swagger into the Rado store with a dainty looking Lisa Ray in tow. The model-actor has been Rado’s brand ambassador for quite some time and says that her values gel well with the brand’s design. “Rado stands apart. It’s been popular in India for many years and that also describes me. It’s constantly reinventing itself and so am I,” says Lisa showing off the two watches she’s wearing. “I really like the HyperChrome range. This white one I bought myself, and this black one they gave me,” she laughs.
Based out of Toronto, Lisa frequently shuttles between India and Canada. “I was here last November-December. I plan to come here again end of this year and my husband will join me, ” she says. It’s obviously wonderful to be visiting India having spent some of her formative years in Kolkata of which she has fond memories. “I used to live in Shyam Bazaar which has narrow lanes and we would be there during the rains. The roads would get flooded. We used to visit our ancestral home in Serampore and that’s where I watched the first jatra (a form of folk-theatre) ever…four to five hours of jatra under the skies, I was mesmerised. I am a story teller. I love telling stories be it for films, books or theatre,” she adds. And that’s why she’s also working on a book. It’s almost done but doesn’t have a name yet. It speaks about her adventures, her journey, her battle with multiple myeloma…
“I have also designed this sari that I am wearing,” says Lisa pointing to her shimmery white sari. Called East meets West, the sari embellished with gold and silver sequins, is part of the line that she has collaborated for with Satya Paul. “I was a Satya Paul bride and I felt that the lovely sari I was wearing should be added to their collection, so we collaborated and the LisaRay4SatyaPaul collection came about. The saris tell a story and have themes such as Hope and Faith, Phoenix Rising…”
Lisa started modelling at 16. What changes does the seasoned model see in the industry now? “There’s a huge difference. It’s far more organised now. When we started we didn’t have any agents. We were our own agents and stylists. We had to handle everything ourselves. Meher, Madhu, Ash and I started around the same time. There was a great deal of innocence and we were there for the adventure,” she says.
Twenty-five years in the industry and she’s still fresh, youthful and vibrant. Clearly she doesn’t let anything deter her. “I feel flattered because I am still getting offers.” Once Lisa returns to Canada, she gets back to shooting yet another season of Top Chef Canada and rehearsing for a play with Kabir Bedi. “It’s called Taj and we will be performing across Canada in the fall. At the end of that I would look at other projects and take them up at the right time.”