I am here to stand on my own feet: Lissy Lakshmi

For the first time after her separation with Priyadarshan, Lissy opens up about the reasons for the split and her return to films

One cannot but notice that Lissy, now Lissy Lakshmi officially, has defied age. Retaining her striking beauty, she doesn’t look all that different from the Lissy of a quarter century ago.

When asked about it, she says humbly with uninhibited laughter, “There are so many things to one looking fit. I’ve been maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes proper sleep, eating right, meditation and working out regularly. Also, a happy mindset makes a huge difference. I just went on a pilgrimage. I’ve been doing workshops, kalari, swimming and a lot of other things.”

Lissy, who made her debut in 1982, has an impressive repertoire of 93 films spanning Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. She left acting at her zenith after she had got married to director Priyadarshan. Now, 24 years later, she is all set to make a comeback. But then, she’s always been associated with cinema in one way or the other.

“Cinema is my family. I entered this family when I was 15. Even after I left acting, I was running the Four Frames preview theatre, dubbing and mixing studios,” says Lissy.

She had doubts when she decided to return. “Honestly, I did have a lot of apprehensions initially. I wasn’t sure how I will face the camera. But the moment I said I was ready, everyone, right from my friends in the industry to my kids, has been so supportive. I never expected so many directors to approach me with wonderful scripts. It was so reassuring that people still believe in me and my talent. National award-winning director Ram has offered me a Tamil movie that will go on floors next year. I’m reading a few scripts in Malayalam as well, two of which I will finalise very soon. I know I can’t play a 25-year-old anymore, and I’ll play roles that are practical and real. It’s great that people are writing amazing roles for women my age. Also, I’m humbled by the affection the public has showered on me when I announced my comeback.”

Clearly, it is the changed situation in her life after her separation with Priyadarshan that has prompted her to come back to acting. “Cinema is my bread and butter. I can’t imagine doing anything else in life. And yes, I’m here to stand on my own feet.”

As we bring up the subject of divorce, Lissy fields the questions with grace and dignity. “There’s no point in living under the same roof when you’re not happy and have irreconcilable differences with the other person. And I am not the kind of person who would wear a mask and pretend to be happy when I am not, which is why we chose to part ways in a civilised manner and applied for divorce. I’m still fighting for divorce in court. I hope it will get resolved amicably.”

Dismissing the rumours that had spread at the time of their separation, Lissy says: “What happened between the two of us is very personal and it will remain that way. You’ve lived 24 years with a person and you can’t wash your dirty linen in public. Yes, I do agree that when the public and the media knew we were together, they deserve to know when we decided to part ways, and which is precisely why I announced the separation. But I am quite surprised at these rumours which are absolute rubbish. No one has a right to judge me. At the end of the day, I am a normal human being too. Ours is a regular family with problems like any other. We all have a right to privacy and I request everyone not to speculate and leave me and my family alone.”

While acknowledging the difficulties involved, she chooses to go about her life normally, setting an example that life for a woman after divorce is a normal, everyday affair. “Divorce is difficult. But it isn’t the end of the road. You have two options. Get stuck in time and suffer. Or you can take charge of things, manage the situation gracefully and move on. Your attitude is all that matters.”

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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