By Chaitanya Padukone
The gracefully sensuous item song-lyric-refrain from the Hrithik Roshan-starrer maverick movie ‘Fizaa’ (2000) which goes ‘Mehboob mere… mujhe masst mahaul mein jeene dey’ picturized on the sensational, svelte Sushmita Sen succinctly seems to epitomize her bohemian yet charismatic personality. Right from her initial Hindi debut movie ‘Dastak’ (1996), the articulate former Miss Universe beauty-queen top-model Sushmita has always been living life on her own terms and conditions. The versatile ‘Bong-beauty’ actress ‘Sush’ has acted as the parallel lead in this romantic comedy Salman Khan-starrer movie ‘Biwi No” 1’. (1999). No prizes for guessing that even in this movie the ‘Biwi’ was played by star-actress Karisma Kapoor while Sen played the vivacious ‘mistress’ on screen.
However, despite a string of multiple romantic (boyfriends) link-ups in real-life, she has never reached the matrimony-level stage of becoming a legally married spouse-biwi, As they jestfully jibe in showbiz as ‘bin-phere-hum-tere’? Recently on Twinkle Khanna’s popular Tweak India YouTube channel show, the candid Sushmita confided that “I came close to getting married thrice. But the men were a let-down. God saved me”.
The outspoken Sushmita has been giving it back to trolls on social media over the last few days. Ever since IPL founder and affluent business baron Lalit Modi announced that Sushmita and he are “dating”, the two have been seeing mean comments and memes about them online. Many have even labeled Sushmita a ‘gold digger’ for dating Lalit.
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Sushmita’s ex-boyfriend and filmmaker Vikram Bhatt instantly came to her defense, arguing that she is “the last person who checks out bank balances before she decides to fall in love”.
Vikram and Sushmita reportedly dated sometime in the mid-1990s. Simply because Vikram was an integral part of the creative team that was actively associated with the 1996 film Dastak, which marked Sushmita’s Bollywood debut. They broke up a few years later.
On Sushmita being called a ‘gold digger’, Vikram said, “Sushmita is a love digger, not a gold digger. I think making fun of other people’s life is entertainment. Someone’s tragedy is someone’s entertainment, that’s always there. When Kareena [Kapoor] married Saif [Ali Khan], even she was trolled. So, I think it goes with the territory, if you are a celebrity and if there is a decision of yours which seems funny to netizens, they start trolling.”
Recalled Vikky, “Sushmita is the last person who checks out bank balances before she decides to fall in love with someone. I was penniless. I was directing Ghulam, but I had no money. I will not forget that Sushmita was the person who first took me to the US, and she paid for my trip. I had no money. When we reached Los Angeles and there was a limousine, and I was surprised. She said that she wanted to make my entry into the US very special.”
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Sushmita herself reacted to the ‘gold digger’ tag first on Twitter as she shared news articles defending her and then in a long Instagram post. “The friends I never had & the acquaintances I’ve never met… all sharing their grand opinions & deep knowledge of my life & character… monetizing the ‘Gold Digger’ all the way!!! Ah, these geniuses!!! I dig deeper than Gold…and I’ve always (famously) preferred Diamonds!! And yes, I still buy them myself,” part of her note read.
Sushmita continued, “It’s heartbreaking to see just how miserable & unhappy the world around us is becoming… The so-called intellectuals with their idiosyncrasies… the ignorant with their cheap & at times funny gossip. The friends I never had & the acquaintances I’ve never met… all sharing their grand opinions & deep knowledge of my life & character… monetizing the ‘Gold Digger’ all the way!!! Ah, these geniuses!!!”
Sushmita shared a photo with her (adopted) daughters — Renee Sen and Alisah Sen on social media. She wrote, “I am in a happy place!! Not married…No rings…Unconditionally surrounded by love. Enough clarifications are given… now back to life & work!! Thank you for sharing in my happiness always…and for those who don’t… it’s #MYOB Anyway!!! I love you Guys #duggadugga #yourstruly”.