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When lipstick was taboo for Mallika
September 26, 2005 15:57 IST
Mallika Sherawat added another feather to her cap when she appeared on CNN's Talk Asia on Sunday, September 25.
On Friday, rediff.com carried the transcript of Mallika's interview, in which the Murder star declared: 'If I used my sex appeal, what's wrong with it?'
And here's the second part of the interview, in which Mallika talks about her upbringing in Haryana, and the time her mother beat her for wearing lipstick.
Over to show host Lorraine Hahn and the inimitable Mallika:
LH: Welcome back to Talk Asia. My guest today is Indian actress, Mallika Sherawat.
LH: Mallika, you were born in a very small conservative Indian town, Haryana. What was it like growing up there?
MS: Very repressive. Women in my state are not treated very well. They are inferior. They are made to feel very inferior to men or to boys. So while I was growing up, my father would always say don't wear this, don't do that, don't stay out in the evenings, my mother whacked me once when I tried to put lipstick. I have all these memories which come back to me, but it's really sad that I come from a state where female infanticide rate is the second highest in my country and women are really treated like cattle and I really wish things would change there. (LH: Even till today?) Yes, till today, till this day and age.
LH: Were you raised in a conservative setting?
MS: Yes, extremely. (LH: very conservative?) Extremely, I think that's why I rebelled. The more you repress something; it bursts out like a volcano and that's what happened with me.
LH: How do you reconcile that with what you do these days?
MS: Well, to be, independent has become very important to me. It's taught me, my survival instinct is very strong because I'm now in the big bad world on my own. That's become very strong and it's taught me that being independent for a woman is very important. Yeah, these two things, but I'm also very global in my thinking. I'm very, I won't say western, I'll say global, yes.
LH: Where did that come from?
MS: It just came. (LH: Not from Haryana right?) Definitely not from Haryana, but I consciously surround myself with intelligent people that I can learn from them, I can grow with them, I make a conscious effort to do that, so that moulds me and I think that really affected me. (LH: And now with your travels obviously.)Yes, not the whole world is opened up, I just went to the Toronto Film Festival. It was fantastic. I wanted to meet David Cronenberg there, I'm a big fan of his. I watched his Dead Ringers and Crash, Naked Truth, but I couldn't get a chance to meet him, but the whole exposure, of walking the red carpet, and everybody just shouting your name, and shouting Jackie's name, and then the Cannes Film Festival, meeting all of you, it's a constant growth experience for me.
LH: When you first told your family that you wanted to become an actress, what was their reaction?
MS: My father thought I was joking, he didn't even take me seriously. He thought I'm really joking, that I've gone crazy, and he just brushed it aside. He would not even address the issue because for him, a woman's job is to get married, raise children, look after the husband, the family, be in the kitchen, be in the house, wait for him, that's her job, that's what she's born to do. And her daughter is a liability. You know, she's a big liability, so he has to wash his hands off her ASAP.
LH: And how did you react to that?
MS: It was very tough, but I had made up my mind that this is what I want to do. You only live once, and at that time I was younger, and I had all these idealistic ideas and I just, it was tough, I had to break away from the system, it was too suppressing for me. (LH: So you left home.) I left, yeah.
LH: Did you have friends to go to?
MS: No, I had to sell my…my grandmother had given me a pair of earrings and I had to sell those to finance my trip. And I landed in Bombay, with no place to say, nothing. But things eventually, you know, when you make up your mind, they eventually have a way of working out.
LH: Let's talk about your brother. I read that was the only one who really supported you. How important was that?
MS: That's right. My pillar of strength. (LH: And how important was that for you?) It was because that was the only support I had. It was my brother who believed in me, who encouraged me, and who told me that what I was doing was okay.
LH: What has it taught you, now, let's say looking back?
MS: It was all worth it.
LH: Mallika, we're going to take another very very short break. When we come back, what does Mallika do on her days off? And how does she maintain that famous figure? Stay with us.
Don't Miss the last part of the chat transcript on Tuesday, September 27!