A Country Called Childhood is a beautifully told memoir of growing up in Amritsar in the tumultuous 1950s and 60s by award-winning actress Deepti Naval. In extremely visual and evocative prose, Naval describes an unforgettable childhood filled with love, adventure, mystery, tragedy, and joy. She uncovers, in great detail, life in an unconventional Punjabi family while plunging the reader into the distinctive sights, smells, and sounds of a fast-vanishing India. Starting at the moment of her birth on a rainy night, she tracks her journey to adulthood, a path punctuated by many personal turning points as also momentous events of national importance, such as the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the Indo-Pak War of 1965.
Moving and illuminating, A Country Called Childhood shows how Naval’s early love affair with cinema and the experiences of her childhood shaped her career as one of the country’s most admired actors.
About the Author
Deepti Naval is an Indian actor, director, writer, painter, and photographer. A multifaceted personality, Deepti has carved a distinct niche for herself in the Indian film industry, winning critical acclaim for her ‘sensitive and close to life’ portrayals that emphasized the changing role of women in India.
Deepti made her debut in the year 1980 with the path-breaking film Ek Baar Phir, and has since appeared in more than ninety films, including Chashme Buddoor, Katha, Saath Saath, Kamla, Ankahi, Main Zinda Hoon, and Mirch Masala. She has received the Best Actor award in several national and international film festivals for her roles in Leela, Firaaq, Memories in March, Listen Amaya, NH10, The Boy with the Topknot, and others. She also won the Best Screenplay award at the New York Indian Film Festival for her directorial film, Do Paise Ki Dhoop, Chaar Aane Ki Baarish, in 2010.
As a writer, she has three books to her credit—her first collection of poems, Lamha Lamha, published in 1981, Black Wind and Other Poems in 2004, and The Mad Tibetan: Stories from Then and Now in 2011. Her poems are reflective, sometimes autobiographical, and ‘constitute a direct and honest female voice’.
A graduate of Hunter College, City University of New York, Deepti acquired her bachelor’s degree in fine arts studying painting as her major subject along with psychology, astronomy, and American theatre. As a painter, her knife work with oil on canvas is distinctly expressionistic.