Nusrat dons the cat print motif looking like a million bucks in a special TT shoot
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2022 is the Year of the Tiger. And, who better to celebrate it with than Nusrat Jahan? The actress-MP has laid down her own rules and lived by them, celebrating her highs but never shying away from accepting her mistakes and owning her lows too. In this special shoot for The Telegraph, Nusrat dons the cat print and motif and looks like a million bucks. Post the shoot at JW Marriott Kolkata’s Gold, that totally vibes with the theme, Nusrat tells us her mantra in life and what defines power and strength.
What did you think of the concept?
It’s a great concept! This is the year of the tiger and women in general are strong. Whenever women overcome odds and come out stronger, they are compared to a tigress. The shoot was something that I could relate to. The styling was done beautifully.
You have never lived a caged life...
I have no regrets in life. I have almost been like a river, flowing on and never looked back. Life is a little easier when you look ahead. So far it has been great. There’s been a lot of self-love. Life is all about learning new things every single day, and also about yourself. You have to handle your emotions and people do it beautifully. Our choices make us or break us.
Strength and power are almost used synonymously. What is strength and what is power, to you?
Strength is the capability to make yourself powerful. Power is not so superficial as people assume it to be. Moving around with security guards is definitely not power! (Laughs) Powerful is if you can help even one person or any living being without anyone knowing. We call God powerful because God heals us. My mother is powerful because she takes care of us. I am powerful because I take care of my family. Mothers allow themselves to be cut up to give birth to another life and then feed them to help them grow. God probably thought we can bear all the pain! If not giving birth, women bear pain in menstruation every month! They live with it, but it’s painful. So, we are strong and that makes us powerful as women.
When you held Yishaan (son) in your arms for the first time, did you feel that sense of power?
That came to me after a long time! (Laughs) I wasn’t the first to hold Yishaan. My hands were paralysed with pain suddenly. I just saw something come out of my body and it was enough for me to go back to sleep! (Laughs) You don’t suddenly slip into this feeling that you are a mom, but I think it is subjective. For me, it was a gradual thing and gets stronger every time. It is a wonderful feeling, but I always look at him and tell him: ‘You can’t do this to me. I gave birth to you! I own your life!’ (Laughs) I know it’s stupid, but it’s funny too! Motherhood is a big deal. I wouldn’t cut myself open for anything under the sun. I nurture him for nine months and imagine after he comes out, the closest he is to his father! (Laughs) All my staff at home call me ‘didi’ and my son ended up calling me ‘didi’! This is a new dimension I am exploring now! Maybe he doesn’t want me to age.
What is your source of strength?
I derive it from within myself. You do feel down at times, but I know I have to face it. I do break down too, but in the next moment, I am preparing myself to fight it. Sometimes you don’t have the strength to fight, but then you must take a step to fight. Making up your mind to fight it is half the battle won. I would never allow my hardships to ever dictate me. Yes, we make mistakes and we will make more mistakes, but it doesn’t matter. Life is supposed to be lived and if you are bound by your own rules and regulations, it is going to be difficult to live.
Tigers are loners. Are you one?
I have realised this when I want to be with people, I’d and then when I don’t want to, I’d run away. Right now, I am not a loner but I am okay being alone. I love my own space and I shut myself off for a day or two. You need to rejuvenate and cannot pour from an empty cup. I like to be with people who will add value to my life and not exhaust me mentally. I love cracking jokes and I’d love to be with people who can take jokes sportingly and laugh with me and not at me. Sheta khujte giye dekhlam, khub i kom lokjon! (Laughs) I am happy sitting in a hotel room, having wafers and reading a book! I am always happy in my personal space unless I allow someone to enter it and cause unhappiness. Right now, I am in a good space and not allowing anyone to intervene, which is helping me keep sane and it shows.
What is the secret to the way you are looking now?!
Are you sure because there are people writing to me that I have got my lips done and my face has gone under the scalpel. (Laughs) I have removed my lip fillers! Botox and fillers are no big deal. Everyone in Hollywood and Bollywood is vouching for it. I don’t know why Tollywood has to still shy away from it when everyone is investing in it. I am okay talking about it. To each his own.
Pictures: Pabitra Das
Make-up: Mainak Das
Hair: Mainak Das & Gini Halder
Styling: Neha Gandhi Binjrajka
Location: JW Marriott Kolkata
Nusrat’s power women
Meryl Streep fits in. I don’t know about her personal life, but from what I see, she comes across as strong. I can visualise her in that tigress dress or even Priyanka Chopra Jonas. I have, of course, seen the women in my family being so supportive. My mother has been a pillar and I think I will perform that role well too.
Neha’s top tips to style cat print
1. Use the cat print in one part of your look, be it the outfit or the shoes or an accessory. Don’t use more than one cat print in your entire look until and unless you are going for a fancy-dress party.
2. Cat prints can be varied, small print or large. Don’t pick up any cat print blindly. See which print suits your body type. If you are on the heavier side, opt for a smaller cat print rather than a large one.
3. Cat prints can be overwhelming and overpowering, so make sure to choose the style of the garment carefully and not just what everyone is wearing.
4. Team statement accessories with a cat print, instead of opting for simple jewellery. It brings out the look even more. Cat print is a print with which you could play around a lot in terms of accessories.
5. Neutral shades like white, black and brown always go well while opting for a cat print. Don’t add too much colour to a cat print, stick to neutral shades to make it look subtle yet classy.