I have always admired Nandita Das for her simplicity and beauty, more than I could ever admire Aishwarya Rai or any other world-celebrated beauty. As a teenager, when I would see Rai’s flawless photographs spanning the newspapers, I would say, wow! My eyeballs would be out and I would stare at her perfection.
Das, on the other hand, made me speechless. An experience the sort that makes you stop and think. Her simplicity is audacious and her beauty, fierce. She is that defiant woman who just walked past glamour and made heads turn. Remember Cannes? While every actor tries to wear the most glamorous clothes and use the boldest strokes of color to draw attention to the best of her face, she snubbed the popular culture.
It’s an honest confession that I am awed by her will, the way she never brought herself to chasing conventional perfection. She has done over thirty films in various languages and if I remember her it is for her labour of love and her natural performance and the shining apathy towards trying to fit in.
And while the subject is on, one must not dare to forget Smita Patil who detested wearing makeup at all and appeared on screen with her pimples and scars showing off. If you find someone who’s got the guts to tell it as it is, celebrate them.
My personal taste is simplicity, perhaps also because my mother lives by it and equates it to sincerity.