Following close in the footsteps of Meena Kumari, Deepti Naval explores the creative self through painting, poetry and photography” says NIRUPAMA DUTT
THIS LITTLE poetic confession comes
from the second known Bollywood actress who took to writing poetry.
And it’s not just poetry for Deepti Naval. Apart from being
a painter, this petite actress has recently made forays into photography.
In Delhi for her first-ever exhibition of photographs at Gallery
Espace, Deepti brings with her the rugged landscape of Ladakh. The
wide open sky, the snow capped mountains, the trees shorn of the
last leaf, walls of stone, rounded mud wall of a remote monastery
merging with the brave hilltop…and occasionally, a winter
scape peopled with women wrapped in shawls and smiles. Her dreams
have certainly chased the real thing. And the photographs speak
of skill and poetry. These stark landscapes are in a way an extension,
not just of her own poetry, but also that of her celebrated predecessor,
Meena Kumari. Their poems speak of their direct communion with nature
and of their journey through life alone. For it was Meena Kumari
through a short film called Shaera.
Deepti too, found favour Grapevine
had it that the poet character that Gulzar invented in his film
Ijazat was inspired by her. Yes, that lovely maya played by Auradha
Patel, who telegraphs her poems, and dies strangulated, Isadora
Duncan like Deepti laughs away the resemblance, though. “
Not really, I am not as erratic as Maya was. I just love doing a
lot many things....