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DEEPTI NAVAL has always defied the norms, be it cinema or her life. She has never been your typical Bollywood heroine, running around the trees and dressing up in designer ensembles. Famous for her roles in films like Mirch Masala, Ek Baar Phir, Chashme Baddur, she has been successful in carving niche for herself.

Deepti was never short of work during the time she was out of the loop. “I had many offers,” she says. “My absence was out of choice. I don’t work regularly, and accept a role only if it has some meat and is different otherwise you end up repeating yourself,” says Deepti. A woman of many facets, she has been keeping herself busy with a whole lot of things. “True. I do a lot of other things apart from acting, which help me to grow and expand as a person”. A photographer, writer, painter, social activist and now a poet. “I have been busy with my book all this while, It’s a collection of poems and is called, Black Wind and other Poems.”.

Deepti Naval was recently seen in the role of a single mother based in the US in Leela and in the role of a widow who has an affair with her paying guest in the flick Freaky Chakra. Trust Deepti to choose offbeat roles, which are sure to cause a stir. Deepti, though, says that she found the role challenging and that was the only reason that she accepted it. “Freaky Chakra was great fun. It was an interesting role to play and we all had a great time shooting for it too. It was like one big picnic where we used to have guitar-playing sessions, pull each other’s leg. Yeah, that was nice”, she says reminicising. Her co-star in the movie was a 20 something Sunil Raoh who was very adorable in the character of a college guy. “Oh! Sunil is a very sensitive actor, and a very chilled out guy.”

Films and cinema was always on her mind,” Even though I did my college from New York, I always wanted to come back and do films here. Films were always on my mind. After finishing with my college, I came here and met a couple of film-makers and luckily didn’t have a problem finding work for myself”.

Among her many avatars is her role as a photographer. Naval can’t help but praise the pristine beauty of the Zanskar Valley where she trekked with a camera for company. Naval felt she had a special bonding with nature. She may like to direct a film in future. However, she says that she has a variety of roles that have to be tackled as an actress before she gets ready to direct. The work on her script has already started and shemay act in it as well.

Deepti has had her share of misfortunes and hard times in life-she suffered enormous personal loss when her fiancé Vinod Pandit, died. Deepti and Vinod had worked together in Thoda Sa Aasman.” It’s personal but let me tell you that I don’t have a man in my life right now and in fact a man is not at all on my mind as of now. At the moment I am enjoying the life as it is and am totally consumed with my work. There is so much I’m doing and it all makes me very happy” says Deepti when asked about her single status.

Getting back to films, she says, “I like some of the films that are being made today. There is an excitement amongst the new crop of youngsters; they are an extremely talented lot. I especially loved Dil Chata Hai, Satya and also Yuva. I must say I really appreciate today’s breed of actors and actresses” she concludes.

Some actors always remain in public memory, and Deepti Naval is surely one of them irrespective of whether she does films or not.