Interview: NIHARICA RAIZADA on her dual careers, Bollywood films, Bengali movie "Damadol" and Much More

Niharica Raizada

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Niharica RaizadaBesides her dazzling beauty, Niharica Raizada has a strong mind and a willingness to work hard - traits which made it possible for her to work at Johns Hopkins from 9 AM to 5 PM, take a train to New York to pursue acting / modeling from 9 PM to 1 AM, catch a train back to Baltimore (the last train, as she points out) and show up for work the next day. Hard work pays and today Niharica, a fully qualified medical doctor, has decided to pursue her interests in acting and the performing arts in Mumbai, India and has already been signed up for three films by a major Bollywood production house with the first of the three going on the floors in January of 2013. She will also appear in a Bengali film song in Manoj Michigan's Kolkata Bangla movie "Damadol".

In this exclusive interview with Minakshi Bajpai on Washington Bangla Radio Niharica talks about her dual careers, childhood, growing up, her famous grandfather, her Bengali and Hindi films, the man of her dreams and much more.

Niharica Raizada was born and grew up in the tiny city-nation of Luxembourg in Europe, later studied medicine in London, UK, subsequently specializing in her favorite subject of cardiology at Johns Hopkins (Baltimore, MD) under a Fulbright scholarship.

But along with her spectacular academic career Niharica also pursued her strong interest in the performing arts. She remembers being five years old when she performed Indian classical Bharatnatyam dance in Germany.

Niharica has taken music lessons for five years and learned classical ballet for seven years before college.

Therefore, after graduating from Johns Hopkins, she had the choice of taking a sabbatical from a career in medicine to follow up on her inner calling of the arts and acting - and that's what she decided to do. Driven by her strong attraction to India, she joined the Indian film industry. "I have come to India because I want to live here now", says Niharica.

Niharica RaizadaNiharica appears in the Bengali film "Damadol" (her debut feature film) and will be seen in lead roles in three films already in the pipeline. The producers of Damadol were looking for a fresh "naive looking" face for Damadol directed by Manoj Michigan. Someone passed on a picture of Niharica and the Damadol crew watched her performance in Mumbai. She was offered the role soon after. Niharica is very particular about the roles she plays - in this case, her appearance is in a Bengali film song in Damadol (an "item number" or "item song") titled "Ami gorom cha". She checked out the song (written by lyricist Rana Mazumder and music composed by Bengali music director  Pritam) in Mumbai and liked it, and accepted the role. Bengali Actor Saswata Chatterjee (who was seen recently in "Kahaani") also appears with Niharica Raizada in the song. The song goes something like  Ami gorom cha / phoo diye kha ...

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Among numerous awards and recognitions, Niharica Raizada is a former Miss India Worldwide and a former Miss India UK. She has also walked the ramp at New York Fashion week. Niharica is a grand-daughter of the iconic Indian film music composer O. P. Nayyar. "My heritage will always be with me" says Niharica. She also fondly remembers three things her grandfather ingrained in her - "If you have talent, it is your duty to share that", "always think about how you can do something which is great" and "not everybody will like what you do but don't worry about that".

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Niharica is also an accomplished singer and has released a single in French - her first language. Though she wants to concentrate on acting at this time, Niharica is positive at some point in future she will focus more on her musician self.

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The man of her dreams ? A smart cardiologist who has a tremendous sense of humor would be very impressive, says Niharica. "I love comedy in my life."

Do not miss beauty tips from Niharica Raizada as well before she signs off.

Minakshi Bajpai is the Executive Director and Lead singer for Minakshi Entertainments USA (, featuring Kehkashaan Indian Band and Sugar Minx English Bands and Jalwah! DJ Entertainments. Minakshi lives in the Washington DC Metro area with her husband and son and can be reached at