On my pinboard

On my pinboard
She has a style like none other be it on screen or stage.  Actress Suchitra Pillai had made a mark with her roles in movies like ‘Dil Chahta Hai, ‘Page 3’, ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’, ‘Laaga Chunari Mein Daag’ and ‘Fashion’. That apart, she has also been a video jockey and done plenty of voice-overs.

Being a theatre enthusiast, she is better known for her performance in Lilette Dubey’s
play ‘Dance Like A Man’ since 1997. Despite being a graduate in electronic engineering, she chose to take the stage rather than the former.

Suchitra has also entertained many households through popular television serials like ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ and ‘Beintehaa’.

She is a music enthusiast and loves entertaining audiences at live shows as a presenter as well as a performer.

1  |  Book

Dr Brian Weiss

‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ by Dr Brian Weiss is one of my favourite books. I’m very interested in the concept of reincarnation and past lives and at the moment, I’m studying my own past life card. This book is really  fascinating as it narrates true life experiences of the author’s patients and how they recollect whatever has happened before. This interested me a lot and I have read the book many times. It is my ‘go-to’ book. It is one of those works that one can turn to when one is feeling a bit shaky and needs a bit of reassurance. In difficult situations, Dr Brian’s books have always calmed me down.

2  |  Music

Ella Fitzgerald

Being a musician myself, I’m a fan of most genres. I am not much of a rock enthusiast. From the time I was young, I have been singing jazz and English classical songs at talent competitions. I love Ella Fitzgerald’s songs and her style. I have sung many of her songs on stage and her tone of voice is similar to mine. But there are many others I like too. On a day-to-day basis, I listen to songs varying from Michael Jackson to Stevie Wonder and ‘Chicago’ to ‘The Eagles’. Melodious and romantic soft rock is really up my alley. When it
comes to having a blast and dancing, trance music is what I enjoy most.

3  |  Philosophy

Kahlil Gibran

Kahlil Gibran’s writings have often struck a chord with me, especially in the book ‘The Prophet’. They have that particular essence to them. Books by Rhonda Byrne have also helped me shape my thoughts. My philosophy in life has always been to ‘live and let live’. I consider myself a non-judgemental person, because I strongly believe ‘to each his own’. Every person has the right to live their own life in their own way. The other motto I strongly follow is to ‘aim for the stars’, be it with my students or fans, as there is no sense in fencing oneself.

4  |  Inspiration

My mother

My life has never been planned. I started acting in England and it has always been one thing leading to another. I have always believed that whenever I get an opportunity, I should make the most of it as I am one of those lucky ones to have got it all. Philosophically speaking, my biggest inspiration has always been my mother, Narayani Pillai. I’ve seen her evolve and how she struck a balance between work and took care of my father and the family. I have always aimed to achieve this. Professionally, I idealise actress Rekha. She’s a dear friend and there is this mysticism about the woman. Under all that is a very warm and affectionate being. She’s great at whatever she does and it is enchanting to see how she slips into each role.

5  |  Cuisine

Thai delicacies

I absolutely enjoy Thai cuisine. I love their beef preparations and most other meat delicacies. My favourites include any preparation that has bird chilli and lemongrass. I love spicy food and its something about that lemongrass taste that makes me crave them more. There are preparations in chicken and other meats, where this combination works magically. Wherever in the world I am, if I’m having Thai food, I ask for a bird chilli and lemon grass flavoured dish. The ‘Phat Kaphrao Mu’, which is minced chicken or beef with bird chilli and lemongrass and brown gravy, is my absolute favourite.

6  |  Travel

Piccadily Circus

Travelling is a part of me. I lived in London for seven years and it will always be a place to go back to. I love Central London as I am used to the place and know my way around.

Areas between Earls Court and South Kensington is where I’m most comfortable. When it comes to entertainment, who doesn’t love the Piccadily Circus or Soho? Other places I love travelling to are Italy and Spain. There’s a lot more about Spain and Greece that I want to
explore.

For a quick-fix and a guaranteed good time, if I have an option abroad, it would be to travel to Thailand or Malaysia. If it’s in the country, it would definitely be Goa.

7  |  Theatre

Lilette Dubey

Having been a theatre artiste, my favourite theatre director will always be the person I have worked with the most — Lilette Dubey. Her direction is unique and is nothing like one has ever seen before. I have always looked up to her and I call her ‘Little Mummy’ — little from Lilette and ‘mummy’ as she has been like a mother to me for a long while now. She is a Virgo like me and we understand each other perfectly. Though she’s 61 years old, she’s working round the clock and does what she loves doing. I also admire Shernaz Patel and Neena Kulkarni, when it comes to actresses.

Suchitra Pillai Actress, VJ and musician


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