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The pursuit of happiness

It’s hard to name just a few turning points! There are so many (laughs). More recently, it’s been my cancer journey that’s reset many things in my life. I think the choice in 2009 to be open and to share my diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a cancer that starts in malignant plasma cells, was a huge turning point. After that, my experience changed completely since I got a lot of support not just from friends and family but also in India, Canada and from practically every part of the world.

I started writing a blog about my cancer journey that took my experience a step further and into a different plane. Today, I have a very different sense of purpose in my life: happiness tops the list followed by being comfortable with myself. I don’t fight with myself to be a size zero. I’m very happy with my curves. I’m also very comfortable being who I am — a blend of East and West. India is very important to my life.

I think every film that I’ve done so far has been a turning point because I experimented with each one and grew professionally. The movies I chose, dealt with a lot of thought-provoking subjects. I’ve done a variety of movies like Mira Nair’s Water, Shamim Sarif’s The World Unseen, which tells the story of 1950s South Africa in which I play an Indian woman in a land torn apart by apartheid. I also did a comedy, Cooking with Stella.

Each movie was completely different in its subject and theme. In the future too I want to keep this up.

For now I am concentrating all my energy on planning my marriage, which will be in October this year in Napa Valley, USA. My father, being a good Bengali, pointed out that our wedding is on an auspicious date as it marks the beginning of Durga Puja this year.

(As told to Varuni Khosla)