- 1 / 2
We'll always remember her as Miss Chamko from the movie 'Chashme Buddoor' but there's a lot more to Deepti Naval than some very fine movies from the 1980s. The actress has now joined the legion of Indian writers with her maiden collection of short stories.
'The Mad Tibetan: Stories From Then And Now', which was launched in Mumbai by Amitabh Bachchan, will also be released in Delhi by director Muzaffar Ali on November 12.
Deepti made her debut with the movie 'Ek Bar Phir' in 1979 and featured in a string of hits including 'Chashme Buddoor', 'Kamla', 'Mirch Masala', 'Ankahi', 'Main Zinda Hoon' and 'Panchvati'.
A true multi-faceted individual, she is a photographer, painter, poet and women's rights activist, who also manages a trust for the education of the girl child.
Deepti says she owes the book to her parents. Her mother introduced her to the art of storytelling, sharing stories from Myanmar. Her father taught her to sit still and get it "write".
The writer says she began to work on the stories one-and-a-half years ago.
In interviews to the media, Deepti said that she made note of incidents in the 1980s and wrote down plots while building the narratives.
The 11 stories in the anthology are vivid, poignant and rich in visual detail. In the story, 'The Piano Tuner', she pulls the reader into the cramped musical world of piano teacher Feroze Batliboy, a little girl and a silent admirer, while 'Thulli' is the moving story of a professional escort.
'The Mad Tibetan', from which the volume gets its name, is set in Ladakh. Penned in first person, it is a slice of personal recollection. She captures through her camera the free spirit of the wild land through the dance of the Tibetan whom she met during one of her treks to the Himalayan kingdom.
"The Tibetan lifts his arms, swings them around, turns, looks up at me again and begins to dance...Like a dervish he twirls, the exultant spirit, laughing, his flaming red robe flailing about him," Depti writes.
An avid traveller, Deepti often takes off to the Himalayas with her camera and trekking shoes.
The book, which has an oil painting of Leh by Naval on the cover, has been published by Amaryllis, a division of Manjul Publishing House.