My priority now is to start a family, says Lisa Ray
New Delhi: Last July, when Lisa Ray discovered that she was suffering from cancer, the actress knew it was time to take a fresh perspective on life. And now after successfully beating the disease, she says that having children is on top of her new to-do list.
The green-eyed beauty, born to a Bengali father and Polish mother, feels like a "reborn" woman after her recovery and said that relationships, not work, are her top priority.
The 38-year-old, who is known to be fiercely protective about her personal life, is in a long-term relationship with French fashion photographer Paolo Zambaldi. But a wedding is not on the cards.
"Post cancer, everything has changed. I simply cannot go back to living as I was before. I have experienced a lot of growth through pain. My priorities have changed... My priority is to find a life partner and have a family. When the person is right, it (marriage) will happen," Lisa told reporters.
The model-actress who recently played host to Queen Elizabeth II and her consort Prince Philip at a luncheon to celebrate the Canadian film industry, said that she also plans to reconnect with the country where she first found fame, India.
The Toronto-born Ray was spotted at the age of 16 by a talent scout while on a vacation in her father`s native country and created a stir with her advertisement for Bombay Dyeing which saw her in a racy swimsuit.
"India has shaped a large part of who I am. To truly embrace a place, I think you must be still and silent and approach it with an open heart. Most of my time spent in India has largely been while working, so I`d like to experience more meditative, non-scheduled moments now," said the actress.
Lisa, who played the beautiful but tragic widow Kalyani in Deepa Mehta`s Oscar nominated film `Water`, had shocked the international film fraternity when she announced last September that she is suffering from Multiple Myeloma, a rare form of cancer.
The actress chronicled her battle with the deadly disease through a blog and post recovery she is determined to work for people going through similar torment. "Top of my list now are relationships, fostering community, simplicity and a slower, more mindful pace of life.
And raising awareness for stem cell procedures, bone marrow donations and cancer," said the actress.
Ray, a fixture on the `Most Beautiful` lists in India and Canada, said that her experience with cancer changed the way she looked at beauty.
"While flattering, I don`t entirely put a lot of faith into these `lists` as they are as fickle and impermanent as physical beauty. My experience with cancer just made me concentrate less on the superficial.
"In order to understand this obsession of the moment with `red carpet perfection` and how my role in that culture would change post-cancer diagnosis, I began writing my blog. I am much happier and more peaceful today," said Lisa.
The actress who had to shave off her long locks while undergoing chemotherapy, said that she loves her new short hair as it feels natural and organic.
"I like short hair as its an expression of what I`ve just been through, but just as I don`t want to dwell on my cancer journey, so I`ll also let me hair grow. Whatever is natural and organic feels correct," said the actress.