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My sexuality has only become richer: Lisa Ray


My sexuality   has only become richer: Lisa Ray

I'm 30, but I feel like a school kid about to go on his first date. Such is the power of Lisa Ray. I've done this before – interview stunning celebrities of supernova proportions; but here I am fidgeting away, trying to tell those butterflies in my belly to get lost.

“She'll be here in eight”, the stylist pitches in. As Lisa walks in right on schedule, I suddenly blurt out “I'm very nervous right now”, throwing aside the journalist's rule book.

“Don't be, it's just me!” she radiates; and there's an inexplicable, joyous lilt to her tone, like she's suppressing a giggle or holding a secret, or both. With that, my butterflies are gone. It's Lisa, just new and improved, and she's not wearing her halo too seriously.

It's 8 a.m., a cold November morning in Delhi; The Man cover shoot is set up - an army of minions are doing the lighting and the catering. And then there is Lisa - a vision blurring out the gossamer and whatever else those designers want her to be in. It's obvious that what she's very comfortably in is her own very sexy skin.

I ask her how she's doing, and before she can answer, I punctuate it with “Are you tired of being asked that question?” “No! I relish that question every time I am asked. I feel lucky when I say, 'Fine, thank you!' After all I've been through, it's a privilege!”

Ever since Lisa came out with her blog, The Yellow Diaries, I've read it regularly – it feels like she has already said it all. I say what no journalist should say out loud. “ I've read your blog, news reports & almost everything about you that I don't know what to ask you!”.

“ For someone who built her initial career on a perfect 10 body, how did she deal with the physical changes? “My body was battered. Chemo smacks you really hard and those steroids, God bless them, leave you tired, blurry and bloated!” “The moon face”, I quote her blog - sensitive, strong, matter-of-fact and humorous in equal doses.

You know, humor is a great ally if you know how to use it. But for me, what I struggled to come to terms with was not so much my physical changes, but the nature of the business I am in.

I am speaking for myself, but somewhere I feel it to be true for most celebrities – we are in this business that propagates beauty and illusion, and sometimes that beauty is a result of an illusionary feat. In reality, celebrities are exactly like other human beings – we feel the same way, hurt the same and are as prone to disease. By talking about my life I'm trying to demystify that illusion”.

What about her sex-goddess image? “As far as I'm concerned, I'm even more comfortable with that label now! My sexuality has only become richer.” There is something about surviving difficult life experiences – they lend an aura that is hard to define. “I feel a kind of confidence I didn't have before. I'm comfortable in my skin now and that, to me, is sexy!”

“ During her battle with Multiple Myeloma, her primary caregivers were men – her father and her then long-term partner she lovingly calls Bobcat in The Yellow Diaries. Has this experience altered her view of men, I wonder?

“My mom was ill for a long time, eventually confined to a wheel chair and dad was her support system, so that is what I know of my dad to be - strong, caring and compassionate.

About the other men in my life, I've always had men who are special one way or another. I don't have a benchmark of that generic stereotype of men, though when I do meet those stereotypical men, I am shocked!” she laughs.

With a book deal being ironed out and a brand new TV series for TLC, is she back in the rat race? “It makes me sad to see how our society defines success – its all about how much you've got. For me, it's about finding my own story, writing my own definitions for success!”

The next morning I call Lisa, she's in Jaipur prepping for another shoot. The city of romance and valor is the perfect backdrop to talk about matters of the heart. Bobcat and Lisa parted ways some time ago. 'BobCat is battle scarred. He needs a break – from me' - she had posted on her blog.

“Bobcat and I are still very close, the kind of experience I had with him, it has altered me for life”, she muses. “Did disease come in the way? I don't have the answer, except that he was there through it all; probably he came into my life to walk me through this. Ours transcend the normal definitions of partnership”.

What does love mean to her now? “Simple beauty”, she says instinctively.

“I mean, to me love is just the beauty about being able to care of another person, be it your girlfriends, your partner, parents. Love is about unconditional acceptance without blocking it with definitions. Love is an action, not just a feeling. And its not love until there's evidence of action!”

There is a new 'Raja' in her life; Lisa is all coy at his very mention. Is he of royal blood? “In another lifetime, if not in this one”, she exults. I try to persuade her to tell me more but she seems hesitant. I decide to let it be, and suddenly she lights up again.

“His name is Brett Wilson, he is a cancer survivor, philanthropist and TV host from Canada”. Lisa met the handsome host of the award winning reality show, Dragon's Den through a friend she considers her soul sister.

“She thought Brett and I would have common interests, and we do – I'm not talking just about cancer”. How is this new relationship going? “He motivates me to be better every day, without imposing his views on me and encourages me to live every moment in that moment! I'm loving every single second of it!”

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