With her slightly lop sided half-smile, a dreamy look in her eyes and straight black hair framing a face bereft of pancake – Deepti Naval has sure not changed much from her Chashme Badoor days. In town as a judge for the Pune International Film Festival, the versatile actor talks about herself, not just as a film personality but also as a photographer, painter, writer and a peripatetic perpetually in search of the soul within.

The PIFF experience
It’s wonderful. Where else do you get a chance to analyze films and meet people who know cinema so well? It’s a rare opportunity to be able to talk to someone like Victor Kemper and get related with his body of work, I have been a judge for the National awards in Delhi too – these are opportunities not to be missed.

Parallel to crossover
I happened to be the first person in the industry to do a crossover film Wings of Hope, though the film didn’t create any ripples. After that Leela and Freaky Chakra happened. But it’s not as though it’s a conscious decision to do crossover films. However, I do feel that this is the new wave of cinema genre. Leela is especially close to my heart. Right now I am also very

The feeling of being one amongst the
Elements give Deepti Naval the real high

Excited about Goutam Ghosh’s Yatra with Nana Patekar and Rekha.
Small screen stint
I made this TV serial THoda SA Asmaan and though it was very enjoyable, I realized that you don’t really get creative satisfaction from television. I would much rather stay alive as an actor in films and perhaps make one too some day.

Painter, writer, photographer
I think I am blessed to be able to do different things. I don’t have this fear that just because I do one thing, the other will suffer. I cannot understand when people ask me if I have stopped acting just because I painted a canvas. Also, I started doing other things because I was disappointed with the kind of roles coming my way. I expected better and was just not ready to do anything and everything. As an actor I couldn’t just repeat myself.

Her Spiritual journeys
Ah! My wanderings! Those have been the most precious times of my life. When I have gone away completely, traveling in places where no one recognizes me. I do that even now – when I feel the need to touch base with myself. The experience is too personal – there have been times when I have just walked on for hour’s together, feeling nature all around me, not obliged to be anything other than what one really is. The feeling of being one amongst the elements is big high. Last year I trekked over the frozen Zanskar river and people were surprised to see an Indian woman go at it alone. But I have a lot of faith; I feel nothing will go wrong. Of course I take my camera along and have held an exhibition of my pictures too – the first was on Ladakh winter called In Search Of Another Sky, while the Zanskar one that I held in places like Delhi and Chandigarh, was Images From The Frozen River. I feel you can’t compare anything with the experience of the Himalayas.

Of course this is a complete take off from the life one leads as an actor and thank God for that! Because life has to be full, I feel that if I have enjoyed the films I have done, been able to explore other dimensions of my personality, stayed close to nature, done my writing and kept alive the adventurous spirit in me, it’s been quite an endearing life finally.