By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | May 15, 2017

India’s top model and Femina Miss India World (2006), Natasha Suri celebrates her birthday today. We at openingdoorz celebrate this woman with a steely resolve who has risen above all odds…

My first meeting with Natasha Suri was way back in 1999. She was just out of school. Rupali, her elder sister had already taken her tentative steps into the modelling world and like all other models during that time, and the Miss India’s, Rupali somehow came in contact with me.

Eighteen years later, that it is Natasha who is in touch with me is another matter altogether! Anyways, here she was, Natasha, this gangly girl, very unsure of herself, dropping in at my home with her sister.

Both were fortunate to have met my mother. Both the girls got a taste of her “fun side” when my mom and me stepped outside our home (before they could step out) when they were leaving and pretended to lock them in! You should have heard the screaming, especially from Natasha who was wondering what she had gotten herself into! Rupali, having known me, was sure nothing would go wrong, although I wonder if it was so!

Years passed by, our association blossomed into a friendship and although we never met often, we did keep in touch.

Every now and then she would ask me for professional advice (I hope I gave her some sound advice) kept updating me about her television and movie offers and her ramp shows. Spoke about her frustration and how a few choreographers took their pound of flesh paying a pittance to models whilst filling their coffers. Not only that, to justify their pittance, they ensured the models were made to feel that they “were not God’s gift to modelling.”

Natasha is a tough nut. Those who know her will understand that she has tried to be the younger son at home and has fought her own demons, and along with Rupali, who has been the father figure, and Soniya (the Suri sisters) rallied to keep their mother happy.

Radha Rajan Suri passed away on February 4, 2017, after a long battle with her ill health.

The girls worked hard rising from their setbacks to keep their mother as a queen. They did everything possible within their means to ensure she was comfortable, rushing her to the hospital time and again, ensuring one of them was at home at any given time along with their domestic help to tend to her even though they had busy domestic and international schedules.

Mom came first!

Natasha wanted to be this delicate daughter and tough man for her mother. At times, she along with her sisters had to portray a tough exterior to her mother to soften the blows of frustration life had offered her.

Radha was a tough woman. Bringing up three daughters all alone was not an easy task. The girls saw her struggle and marveled at her steely resolve, never once buckling under pressure. Radha worked hard and gave the girls the best she could. In turn, the sisters were fiercely protective about their mother, they were there at every call from her and ensured she had the best of luxuries that they could offer. They made life easy for their mother!

On February 4, something inside Natasha snapped. Her mother, her lifeline had passed away. “How long will I feel this way,” she asked me through her tears and pain, knees folded to her chin, head held in between trying to muffle her sobs. She asked me this because I too had been through this phase. She had met my mother and known my closeness to her.

I was honest with her and told her it will take a long time. The pain might lessen but the loss will forever be felt! “That dull ache, whenever you think of your mother, will forever remain.”

Natasha has coped beautifully. After a month of deep anguish, she has risen up to embrace her work. “This (my work) doesn’t matter anymore to me, Martin,” she had said then when I asked her to immerse herself in her work. “I was doing it for her.”

“Now do it for you,” I said. “That will make your mother happy.”

She has done just that. Today, The Million Dollar Babe (that’s what I call her) celebrates her birthday. I wish her the very best in life and want to assure her that her best is yet to come.

And yes, her mother is in a happy place where there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more sorrow.

Happy Birthday Natasha Suri.

Stay Blessed Always!

Also Read: Happy Mother’s Day Mother Earth

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