After her cancer scare, it has almost been a rebirth for Lisa Ray. The breathtaking beauty glided all the way from Canada into our lives through the little television sets we had in our living rooms, back in the 90s. The magical rendition of Afreen Afreen by the late music maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan transformed this former model into the hottest import back then.
Lisa tried to launch her Bollywood career in India that went kaput after which she tried her hand at other big screen projects back home. Her career was seeming to scamper back onto the right track when life dealt her with a cruel blow. Cancer, still a dreaded word in most parts of the world, ravaged her body, however it could not break her will power to survive.
She has bounced back with a renewed enthusiasm and fervour for life and what better way to be able to live life to the fullest than roam the world while soaking in all its indigenous flavours. Today, courtesy her many TV shows, Lisa gets to travel to some of the most exotic locations on earth, all expenses taken care of. After all, business and pleasure rolls into one for this pretty lady.
Currently, Lisa is in India, promoting her latest TV show - Oh My Gold! a show on TLC that takes her to the many cultural hubs of India, the places all bound together by a common thread - priceless jewellery and precious stones.
For someone who spent most of her formative years in Canada, and visited India only once a year during school vacations, jewellery for Lisa was not a part of popular culture. Speaking to IBNLive, she admits, "While growing up, we used to come to Kolkata once a year. That is when we made our annual trip to the jeweller, getting sets designed and made. It was a part of my mythology while growing up."
Naturally, researching and shooting for the show took Lisa to shops and kiosks around the country that sell fabulous jewellery. Did the visual splendour trigger a desire to go on a spending spree on her own? Or did it give a golden (pun intended) opportunity to Lisa to convince her boyfriend to invest in some classic pieces for his lady love? While our average Bollywood diva would effortlessly side-step on questions about beaus, Lisa candidly confesses, "While filming for the show, my taste has developed towards expensive jewellery. My boyfriend (Lisa is said to be dating Paola Zambaldi, a Paris-based fashion photographer) is very worried...," and ends up in a fit of giggles.
So would bling be the short cut to her heart? Lisa rolls her eyes and sports an impish grin on her face, before she retorts, "If someone has to woo me, it'd be fun to accept all the gold on a golden platter!"