Two years after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the white blood cells, and about a year since declaring herself cancer free, Lisa Ray is facing the cameras again. Since her last outing, the 2009 film, " Cooking With Stella", she has undergone an intense journey of sickness, healing, and being "reborn".
We caught up with Lisa Rani Ray (yes, that's her middle name, given to her by her dad), who will now be seen hosting the show "Oh My Gold!" (OMG) on the Travel And Living Channel (TLC). The actress was in Delhi with her partner Jason (who politely declined when we tried to pull him into the conversation, saying this was "about her"), and answered the ubiquitous when-are-you-settling-down-question saying she was, indeed, already so. Excerpts:
This is the first time you will be seen on screen after you were diagnosed and then cured. How does it feel to face the cameras once again?
Well, that's what made it such a celebration. And that's why this series is more important to me than just a project, because even when it was offered to me and I decided to do it, it was still very early on after my stem cell transplant – my hair was still short, it was still growing, my energy was a little low – but I just felt so compelled to be a part of it because of all the ingredients. And on top of that, it's kind of neat because, as much as I love acting, this is a chance for me to share a bit more of my personality. This will be the real me on screen. And it's a way of sharing that with the Indian audience, who were also so supportive through my time, and because transparency was kind of the signature of my entire cancer journey – being honest and open – it kind of made sense that this would be my first project.
When you say transparency through your cancer journey, did you have to decide if you'd share each and every moment?
Your blog describes everything; there's an instance of some growth in your eyes and you going to the doc to have it removed. Some wouldn't want to share such things because it's too personal, others would think, 'I don't wanna gross people out'.
So how did you decide to share it on a public platform?
Well, first off, it didn't start off that way. I just wanted to write because it was my way of processing what I was going through. So that's how it started, I never thought anyone would actually read it.
That wasn't my desired result, necessarily; it wasn't what I was aiming for. And secondly, I never over-thought it. I was going through a process, and it was my way of processing, and healing, and so there was no self censorship, there couldn't be. Now, however, 'coz I've come out the other end, and my health's dramatically improved and I'm doing well, I won't necessarily share all those details. But that was very specific to that period. Also because, on some level, I felt perhaps it could help someone else.
(Source: Times of India / Aarushi Nigam)
(Photo: Times of India)