Write ups


DEC 23-29, 2004

Naseeruddin Shah and the actress herself read out poems from her new collection, which was released by Gulzar on Dec 20

IT’S very difficult to not pay attention when the person doing the talking is Naseeruddin Shah. And that is what happended when the actor recited verses from actress Deepti Naval’s new book, Black Wind And Other Poems. The audience at Prithvi Theatre listened in rapt silence as Shah first read out the book’s foreword by lyricist and filmmaker Gulzar and then went on to introduce Naval, in what he called a more prosaic way than Gulzar. Shah said, “I don’t know Deepti at a personal level so “Ill let her words do the talking.”

Released by Corner Bookstore in association with MapinLit publishing house on Dec 20, the book launch was refreshing change from glitzy movie premieres and socialite evenings, where it is considered fashionable to begin late. The literary event began bang on time at 6 pm and wrapped up in an hour.

The collection is divided into two sections – Black Wind, a collection of 50 poems on her personal experiences, and Silent Scream, poems about the actress’ experience after she spent time with inmates of a mental institution. Naval says, “These poems belong to a particular phase of my life, the years from 1990-1995. Now that time has gone by and I have moved away from it, I am able to look back and say: Yes, I lived that… I went through this.”

Amid the constant buzzing of cell phones (which made Shah snap at the audience twice) and the annoying flurry of cameras that made actor-director Rajat Kapur express his displeasure very vocally, Shah and Naval alternately read out poems from the book… and everything else ceased to exist. The two chairs and a table formed a perfect stage as Shah breathled life into the verses – especially Black Wind.

Naval’s second book after Lamha Lamha (her first collection of Hindi poems) was released by Gulzar and the event was attended by various theatre personalities like Saeed Mirza, Parikshit Sahni and Markand Deshpande.