Deepti Naval is an actor, director and writer. In this interview with Abhinandan Sekhri, she talks about her latest book, A Country Called Childhood, a memoir of growing up in Amritsar in the 1950s and ’60s.
“The book is purely about childhood and coming of age,” Deepti says, explaining that it reveals a part of her that “nobody knows”. It chronicles her childhood in a city of Sikh gurus, living next door to a mosque while attending Catholic school. She also details snippets of memory – her disciplinarian father, her mother who was influenced by Buddhism, small-town life, and the excitement of seeing fighter jets during the 1965 India-Pakistan war.
On her favourite roles in film, Deepti says, “I choose films where the women have some internal strength...These girls knew who they were.”
Deepti also says writing “saved” her and kept her grounded, alongside her love for poetry and painting. “If it wasn’t for my writing,” she says, “I would have been quite mad by now.”
Text by Faris Kallayi.
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