Paintings are windows to the mind, thinks Sushmita Sen. TWF correspondent Sreya Basu chats up with the actress in Mumbai on her latest inclination for art
You seem to have become an art lover of late.
Oh, I love art ... from children's drawings to Picasso's bacche ki tahar paintings to (MF) Husainsaab's interpretations of horses, Ganpati and Mother Teresa to (SH) Raza's graphical kind of portrayals. I have a huge collection of art not because they are expensive (though that too is an important aspect), but because we stay within four walls and if you put paintings on those walls, they become windows. Whenever you want to be at peace with yourself, want to be inspired, imaginative, you look at those windows and they take you to their world.
Have you ever tried your hand at painting?
So far, I have done everything in life at least for once; I still do that and will continue to do that. I even did painting. A painting of mine was even auctioned for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, which is built in the name of Imran Khanji's (Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician) mother. My painting titled Ibadat was sold for Rs 50 lakh and was used for cancer patients.
What is your genre of art?
I don't paint for the world but for myself and hence do it like a child.
What according to you is a good painting?
A good painting should be one looking at which even the most depressed and troubled person gets a smile on his face.
Like you, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan too is known for his love for brush and colours. Have you seen his paintings?
Yes. Salman Khan is a fantastic artist because he paints not with his hands but his heart.
Has he gifted you a painting?
Salman paints to help people. I requested him several times make a painting for me, but he has not taken out time for me. So I went to his house and got a painting off his wall and brought it home. I have two of his paintings at my house and I cherish them very much.
What about your daughters? Do they paint too?
My elder daughter Renee (13) loves to paint; Alisah (3) is more interested in putting different colours on her palms and leave those marks on the walls, which is very dangerous for me.
Do you have a favourite among your daughter's drawings?
Renee has made a spectacular painting of Lord Shiva for me which I have put on my wall. It is a beautiful painting in black and she made it out of her imagination. She made a pregnant Shiva. When I asked her why did you made Shiva pregnant in your painting, she said: "You are both mother and father to me. So if there is Shiva, he also has to be a woman too."
Renee made a Shiva, which religious figure would you love to paint?
I would love to make a painting of Maa Durga.
Deviating from paintings a little, unlike most actors and actresses you are always seen driving your car instead of a driver. Why is that?
I believe that if a person knows how to do a thing, he/she should not depend on others for getting that job done. And hence, I drive my own car. And then, I love cars. From my childhood my bapidadu (grand-father) taught me how to drive a car. I got my first lesson in driving in an Ambassador car. At present I have three cars.