A little past 10am on October 10, Sunday. For many, the day hadn’t yet begun. Not for Rituparna Sengupta though. The multitasker was juggling her me time with this t2 chat. She was in Mumbai when we caught up with her on Panchami morning, terribly missing her family in Singapore, slated to travel to Kolkata to savour a bit of Durga Puja with her family and friends before flying back to shoot for Veena Bakshi’s Ittar. “I am looking forward to meet my school friends and there is a bit of promotion work for Mahishasur Marddini by Ranjan Ghosh,” the award-winning actress told us. In the course of this chat, Rituparna also told us about all that was keeping her busy. The list seemed exhausting, but with Rituparna, ‘impossible is nothing’. Hats off!
What is the secret of your energy?
(Laughs) I am a simple person at heart and believe in simple living and high thinking. That’s what my mantra is. I keep my mind active and my brain working towards something new and creative. Ei recently aami Bappi da’r (Lahiri) shathe gaan tao korlam (Phoolmoti). Then I also did the new show Rishta on Colors TV Asia Pacific. I always try reinventing myself in different ways. I keep myself busy, from which I derive energy. I feel lost when I am idle. (Laughs)
I don’t know if someone wants to become like me, but you need loads of patience (laughs). That is something I have learned from this industry. You have to have patience for anything you do in life. It’s very difficult to manage your personal and professional lives simultaneously, when you are in this profession. More often than not, you are likely to get misunderstood every now and then because nobody understands the pressures of this profession
Rituparna loved the “fun combination” of a sari, jacket and bralette. “Black always looks glam. The sequinned bralette is interesting. The sari has been teamed with a belt and crochet jacket. There is a play on the eyes and the hair pulled up in a twisted high bun, accentuates the features prominently,” she said. Kaushik gave her a party-ready look with gold-bronze smokey eyes and lots of shimmer. The beige lips balanced the shine. “This is an Indo-western look which can be tried at house parties,” said Rajat.
We’ve only got 24 hours! Do you maintain a diary or is all of it in your head?
(Laughs) Mathai toh thakei, but there is also Sharmistha, my manager, who keeps reminding me of things to do every morning. We are also doing social work during the Pujas. We have done a video on Maa Durga with sex workers, acid victims and transgenders. We’ll be donating clothes to them. I try to contribute in whatever way I can.
So, a real life Durga! Do you wish for 10 hands sometimes?
(Laughs) Yes, I wish, but from inside I feel I do (have).
Do you get the time to sleep?
Aamar ghumono ta ektu kom. Some people can just laze around in bed the whole day. I can’t do that. My sleep usually breaks by 7am and am not one of those who can sleep till 10am-11am. My kids and husband love sleeping and I am the one who roams around like a ghost in the house. (Laughs) I go for my walks when I am in Singapore, water my plants. I would write Rishta in the mornings... five-minute motivational videos. I write poems and recite or listen to music. Sanjay (husband) is also musically inclined because he himself plays the sarod. Aamake raate boshiye classical music shonai. So, tokhon raat hoye jaye, but they can sleep till late which I just can’t... ‘bela ekta beje gelo... otho otho... khao... take a bath...’, I tell them... breakfast and lunch becomes all the same. (Laughs out loud) That is also a part of my life and I enjoy it a lot. When I am back to work, I am a complete workaholic.
Rituparna “fell in love with this look”. “The gorod sari, flowers and the nath... you cannot go wrong. There is something pure about this picture, which is a perfect match for any puja,” she said. Kaushik and Rajat thought of Lakshmi Puja while ideating this look. “ The eyes are kohl bold. There is a nice contour and the lips are lotus pink. I have used matte mauvish-pink eyeshadow and given her middle-parted hair and a low bun,” said Kaushik. Rajat wanted to keep it pristine and serene. “To go with the gorod sari, I gave her nath and bangles. Less is more,” he said.
You work on Sundays too...
I’ll work off and on today, but it’s not that hectic. I also did Salt with Chandan Roy Sanyal. May be I’ll dub for that today.
It’s been more than 25 years of doing this and looking at your enthusiasm, it feels you started just the other day. May be because you love it so much, you don’t tire...
I don’t let myself feel tired. Otherwise I lose out on the enthusiasm. Sometimes I do feel tired. I rest a bit then... power naps in between shots... ‘aamai 10 minute birokto korbi na’. (Laughs) I have inculcated that in my system.
What is your top tip to become ‘Rituparna Sengupta’?
Aamar moton keu hote chai? (Someone knocks on the door. Rituparna has a visitor. ‘I am coming in 10 minutes,’ she says). Someone has come to read out a script (laughs).
These looks are apt for the upcoming festivities. The styling is in sync with Covid protocols. We have given her less jewellery because sanitising is a hassle. The clothes are lightweight. The make-up is less too. Keeping in mind masks, there is a lot of emphasis on matte lipstick
Kaushik & Rajat, in charge of make-up and styling at the shoot
Now that’s one more thing to do today. We were just wondering about your patience levels...
That’s the word. I don’t know if someone wants to become like me, but you need loads of patience (laughs). That is something I have learned from this industry. You have to have patience for anything you do in life. It’s very difficult to manage your personal and professional lives simultaneously, when you are in this profession. More often than not, you are likely to get misunderstood every now and then because nobody understands the pressures of this profession. There are unending whys... why can’t this be done and why can’t that be done....
Make-up and styling: Kaushik & Rajat
Outfits by: Soma Bhattacharyya
Location: J W Marriott Kolkata