DECEMBER  2001
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DECEMBER 2001 Contents


 Joseph Allen Stein
 A tribute by Ram Rahman

A Spiritual Activist
 Rozalia Radhika Priya


 Ghulam Ali

 Prem Joshua
 (Listen to the track
 'Lahore Connection')

 (Listen to the track
 'Moria Badnawa')


 Telecoms & Software
 - Trends in south Asia

 Value/Wealth Creators

 Narayana Murthy - Infosys

 Sam Pitroda - C-DOT

 Aziz Premji - Wipro

 Sunil Mittal - Bharti Mittal

 Ambanis - Reliance

 Safi Qureshi

 Hassan Ahmed - Sonus

 Atiq Raza - Raza Foundries



 'It was five past midnight
 in Bhopal' - Lapierre

Performing Arts

 Simplifying Ramayana
 - Bharatiya Kala Kendra


 Islam's middle-path


 Sakti - Mother Goddess


 Nandita Das


 Wharton India Economic
 Forum Conference

 Editor's Note


the craft shop

the print gallery


Silk Road on Wheels

The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in Bangladesh



Page  1  of  3



- is she the 'Renaissance Woman'?


Isiodore Domnick Mendis

nandita_das.jpg (26398 bytes) 
"There are so many things to do in life. Maybe I'll keep doing films. But there's no urge to act just for the sake of acting. I'd like to do roles I am drawn to, roles that I believe in, films dealing with issues that trouble me. Nothing more. Nothing less."

There's depth, power and drama in her interpretation of characters she plays on the screen. Whether a naxalite in Hazar Chaurasi Ki Ma, or the wife of a psychopathic cop in Aks or even a rape victim in Bawandar, Nandita Das practices her craft by intuition…

The characters she plays don't flow out of an assembly line. Each one is built in flesh and blood. But Nandita Das considers her role of a Rajasthani rape victim in Bawandar [Sandstorm] as her most electrifying performance so far. The about-to-be-released film is the true story of a woman at the centre of one of India's most shameful acts of violence.

The film revolves around Bhawari Devi [Nandita Das] and her rickshaw-puller husband, Sohan [Raghuvir Yadav] who are approached by a social worker, Shobha [Deepti Naval] to help her spread the word against the evils of child marriage. Bhawari takes up the cause with gusto but the villagers are so enraged they get together and gang rape her in full sight of her husband.

A horrified Shobha decides to fight for Bhawari and creates a nationwide sensation. She even helps her get Rs.100,000  from the Prime Minister's fund. Bhawari loses her case in a lower court, but decides to join hands with Shobha in her crusade against child marriage.

" This is the kind of character close to my heart," says Nandita Das, eagerly awaiting the release. Critics say her role is so powerful that even after the mauling the film received from the censors, she could still walk away with the national award.

Says Nandita, who recently won the best actor award at the Santa Monica Film Festival, USA for Bawandar, " It's a compelling theme where the film's central character has suffered injustice and has the guts to fight the system without a gun. It's a commentary on our system."

For almost three years now, Nandita Das has been forging ahead with these kind of powerful performances. She practices her craft by intuition. That explains such an assembly of characters that display the depth, power and the drama in her interpretation of a closet lesbian in Fire, an ayah in Earth, a naxalite in Hazar Churasi Ki Ma, a rape victim in Bawandar or even the wife of a psychopathic cop (Amitabh Bachchan) in Aks.

"I have no method, you know," she explains. " Acting is just a smattering of things I learnt from different teachers."






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