| Raima Sen
Cuddles, friends, home and 'amma'. Raima Sen has missed them all for a long time, shuttling between Hyderabad, Mumbai and Canada. Slogging at such breakneck speed, with little or no time for family, was never there in the wish-list of this doting granddaughter of Suchitra Sen. But there's little ground for grumble, as her career has taken off big time this year.
'I was in Canada when Rituda called me up and asked me to do a small role in Antarmahal. I said yes. Anything for him,' smiles Raima, lounging about at her Ballygunge Circular Road home in white top and blue jeans with lhasa apso Cuddles for company. Her middle parting is still red with the vermilion dabbed the day before while shooting for Antarmahal as Abhishek Bachchan's wife.
Offers have been pouring in from everywhere ever since she played the demure Ashalata in Rituparno Ghosh's Chokher Bali. But Moon Moon Sen's daughter has turned down most ' with a bit or lots of Ashalata in them ' and settled for a mixed bag of Bengali, Hindi and Telugu masala films, instead.
At the moment, her kitty is full with Telugu director Teja's Deriyam, Vijay Khemka's Shakti opposite Jeet, and Anubhav Sinha's multi-starrer Dus where she plays wife to Suniel Shetty.
'Dus is an action film and the women (Raima, Esha, Shilpa and Dia) don't have much to do,' she admits. 'But I don't want to do off-beat films only. A couple of masala films a year are fine' I had seen how hordes of people thronged to catch a glimpse of Prosenjit while we were shooting for Buddhadeb Dasgupta's Swapner Din in Santiniketan.'
So, she gave Madhur Bhandarkar's Page 3 and a few more films the miss. 'Madhur wanted me in place of Tara Sharma, which I refused. The other one was again Tara's role in Sidharth Srinivasan's Amavas ' Then I also had to turn down Tanuja Chandra's Film Star, because the dates were clashing with my Telugu film,' confesses she, with a trace of regret for the last nay.
And though she admits her priorities lie with Hindi and Bengali films, Raima wants to explore the Telugu film industry. 'It gives you a lot of exposure in Bollywood as most Hindi films are Telugu remakes. They also pay well and have a great regard for their artistes,' she adds.
'It has been a very satisfying year, but I will space out my schedule for next year,' she promises herself.
For the moment, it's time for lunch with 'amma'.