Sussanne Roshan at The Oberoi Grand last Thursday. Picture: Rashbehari Das
Looking at her, we girls go green with envy because she is married to the Hrithik Roshan. Sussanne Roshan doesn’t have a problem with that because she is one stylish businesswoman in her own right. In town last week to launch Lewis Berger Design Stories at The Oberoi Grand, the interior designer chatted with t2, dressed in a Dolce & Gabbana number and GAP sweater.
We only see you in Calcutta during the IPL…
The first time I came to Calcutta was for the IPL and after that I went into Berger. I am a part of the Berger team, so I had to come here often for samplings and presentations. I like Calcutta.
What is the secret to successfully juggling your career and home?
The main thing for me is figuring out my day. From the time I wake up, which is 6.45am, till night… I manage my time to make sure that I do everything that I need to do for my home, my children (Hrehaan and Hridhaan), my work and my husband. I think the easiest and the most practical way to do that is to keep a timetable. You make a things-to-do list in the morning when you have that free time.
Have you always been this particular?
Yeah, I have this thing in my head about details. And I have also learnt a lot of it from Hrithik... about consistently wanting to achieve a certain standard in life. To take that extra care and make it correct gives me a lot of pleasure.
Does the tag of being Hrithik Roshan’s wife bother you?
Very honestly, it is the most beautiful thing that has happened to me. A man who is so conscientious in his work… he has taught me so much. I have known him now for 15 years. We’ve grown together. He has put in a lot of this whole thing about being perfect in me also. Being his wife is a huge benefit. Today half the world knows me because of that. To establish my own identity is a great thing, but he is too strong a success story. I will always be known first as his wife. I am very happy because it gives me a feeling of pride. I feel blessed about where he is today and, touch wood, I want more for him. I don’t have that ego thing.
You surely are one of the most envied women around!
Oh my god! So many people kept telling me this when I was getting married! I swear it never bothered me. It did not once make me feel, ‘Why is he getting so much attention?’ I was so happy because I could not get over the fact that here is my life partner who is working so hard and is getting this success. I think there isn’t a number to the number of female fans that Hrithik has!
Are you critical of his work?
I am now. I never used to be but then over time, he taught me to be critical.
What is a regular day in your life like?
When I wake up, I go to my little lounge and make the (to-do) list over coffee. Depending on the day, it could be five or 20 things! I make that list because there are important people in my life and I want to give them my best. After that is done, I wait for my children to go to school. Once they leave for school, I either work out or start revising what I need to do at work. With the kids away, I have all the time for myself. I go to work at 10.30-11am. Then I get into the routine of the day… work, meetings, clients. I again come back home to my children. They have their various classes… tae kwon do, gymnastics and language. In the evening, when Hrithik is back home from work, we have a meal together, watch some TV, relax or go out with friends. That’s a basic day.
So, it’s a normal life?
It is a very normal life (laughs), contrary to what the whole world thinks! Every human being, however blessed with success he may be, there are just those many needs... whether it is eating, friendship, romance or children. And you will do those things in that capacity and be happy.
Do you spend a lot of time doing up your house? Is Hrithik into it?
Of course! Small things make a big difference to me… my fresh flowers, cleaning the silver or the duvet covers in my bedroom. Right now, we are in a family home, sharing it with my in-laws. We are in the process of finding a new place. My in-laws keep teasing me because I keep changing everything. I like to play around and redecorate for the heck of it… for change. Hrithik is very conscious about order and cleanliness and a certain system.
What do your kids want in their rooms?
Hrehaan (6) is so particular. He is more like his father. He has these cupboards and he is into LEGO. He displays them in the cupboard. He also has the desire to make a gym with monkey bars.
He is clearly inspired by his father…
Not really.... I mean, dad also, but nowadays for all children, there is so much activity. They have iPads… my four-year-old Hridhaan knows how to Google anything.
What have two years of your decor store The Charcoal Project taught you?
Oh god! So many things... but the main thing it has taught me is to be consistent. Don’t procrastinate and build castles in the air. It is very important that good design should transcend into good business. My store energises me. When I walk into my shop, I really feel alive.
Favourite Hrithik Roshan film: Guzaarish. It was soul-touching. His character was beyond words.
How many times have you watched Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai? At least 15 times! I used to watch it more when I was younger. Now, whenever it is playing in the house.
One fashion advice you have given Hrithik: ‘Don’t play with your hair. Don’t wear the cap!’ That’s the best advice I have given him. Sometimes he trusts me and sometimes he doesn’t!
One fashion advice Hrithik has given you: He always tells me less make-up. Less is more, he says, which I like actually. I have learnt to stick to that.
On Hrithik looking more and more like a Greek god: Lucky me!
Accessories you love: I love bracelets and I am attracted to skulls (motifs) and black.
Favourite actor: Robert De Niro.
Favourite actress: Julia Roberts. Natural and beautiful.
Last book read: Paul Coelho’s Aleph.
Last film watched: Life of Pi. It was life-changing.
One thing you want to do in your store: One day I want to get a studio in my store where I can start painting. I love contemporary art with a twist. I do draw and I used to paint when I was younger.