28 February, 2021

Mum’s The Word | By Sushmita Sen

Mother’s lessons early in her career gave actor a steely resolve

Sen And Sensibility
Sushmita Sen with Outlook’s political editor Bhavna Vij- Aurora at the Outlook Speakout.
Photograph by Jitender Gupta
Mum’s The Word | By Sushmita Sen

My mother is an incredible woman. My father is spiritual. He is my spiritual side. He is the forgiving side. He is the “let it go” side. But when you compete, these attri­butes have a very fine balance with being competitive, not shutting down at any point. That needs aggression, not submission. My mother is the aggressive side. My mum had a huge role to play in my life and career because she just would not take no for an answer. She never let me be scared of failure. She would say, “What’s your worst fear? Failure? Then go fail, but not without trying.”

Last year, she suffered a massive stroke to the left side of her brain. She was paralysed neck down. She could not speak a word. I remember telling her, you have got to fight. This can’t be you because my ma knows how to fight. She did. And she came back full blown. Her motor skills are back. She still has a speech defect but she is not letting it hold her back. The Outlook Speakout event is the first public appe­arance she made in...

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