Deepti tells me we have to meet at Nata. I look at Google Maps, my faithful guide for all places unknown to me in Goa and find Nata tucked away in sylvan surroundings. She walks in and asks me if I have a list of questions to ask her and if I have ever had the natas and the coffee here. Both questions emerge in one breath and perhaps define who Deepti is.
A straddler of many worlds with her creativity… An artist who cannot help but create and is an accomplished writer, actor, producer, activist, mother, world traveler. With accolades that have come her way, Deepti has come a long way from starting as a reader and assistant in Los Angeles with writer’s agent Lynn Pleshette. Her accomplishments include being writer, director, producer for Channel V, MTV, working with Mira Nair, launching Vogue in India, interviewing Asha Puthli, screen writing for film… I see The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Luck by Chance, and Kama Sutra in her profile. Her association with each varies. The list of accomplishments is long and impressive!
I ask her when she first discovered the artist within and she promptly responds with a crisp “I didn’t discover, it was always there!” She follows it up with a quotable quote: “A true artist has to create, to let creativity emerge. A true artist is not bothered with, nor creates to pursue accolades, recognition, fame”. Something within me resonates and agrees wholeheartedly.
Passion is the word that leaps up within me as I listen to her narrate her journey. The back and forth between LA, Mumbai and Goa and finally Goa to ensure a balanced life for her children, a pace that would allow her to pursue her passions, space for creativity to express. The challenges Goa presented to the urbanised LA, Mumbai returned artist. Simple tasks that would get done in an hour could take days! The electrician could leave a job quarter done because his mom called him to get prawns from Mapusa market before he came home for dinner. So off he went only to return after the Sabbath and provide the home with electricity!
In the midst of narrating achievements, her passion to create, Deepti is not one to remain untouched by current events and has things to say on social media. Her writing stirs the pot leading to a sudden uprising of reactions and I hold my breath as she reads out some of the comments. Deepti is unfazed.
A rare laugh accompanied with a gleam in her eyes as she nonchalantly says, “Ah we shall see where this goes!”
We order another round of the strong coffee with a nata each. They are irresistible and I bring home a pack of six with a strong resolve to not devour them all by myself. Nata is a writer’s paradise, we agree. Deepti’s creativity finds expression over the coffee and natas.
Deepti blogs at Civilianaire.in, appears on the cover page of aevamagazine.co.uk;