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Lisa Ray: We are all victims of labels

(Photo: lisaraniray/Instagram)

The ‘Water’ actress Lisa Ray opens up about her cancer memoir and the journey behind it

By Siddhi Jain

November 19, 2019 (IANSlife) Model-actor Lisa Ray feels that we are all a victim of labels and says she does not identify with her cancer survivor label on a daily basis.

Lisa, 47, was a speaker at the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest, which concluded Sunday, where she spoke about her cancer journey and her memoir “Close to the Bone” released earlier this year. 


(Photo: lisaraniray/Instagram)


Asked if cancer survivors should move over that label after one point, she said that she absolutely believes that.

“We are all the victims of labels, so many damn labels and this is just another label: cancer survivor. I personally don’t identify with it on a daily basis. I don’t wake up in the morning and think, ‘Hey, I’m a cancer survivor’. I’m me. I experience a lot of gratitude that has come out of my cancer experience.

“We don’t self-label, it’s other people who come up with these labels. In India, we seem to love labelling people,” Lisa told IANSlife in an interview.

Lisa, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare type of blood cancer in 2009, also feels that writing a book was a journey into self-discovery.


(Photo: lisaraniray/Instagram)


“Writing a book, and on top of that, a memoir is always going to be transformational. I learnt a lot about my lineage and my heritage, my father ended up opening up about the strong, matriarchal bloodline on my father’s side, which is my Bengali side, of how rebellious they were.

“I also see my parents differently. I always considered myself a rebel, and thought it’s in my marrow and bones to defy convention, but in writing my book, I understood that my parents are the original rebels. There were so many interesting revelations throughout the writing. There were agonising moments as well. I have tried to be as authentic and truthful as possible,” the ‘Water’ actress said.

On the acting front, Lisa will appear in the second season of web series “Four More Shots Please!”.


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Siddhi Jain can be contacted at

Editing by Aditi Roy and N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe