This session is a rather special one not just for Kolkata but for cinephiles all over the country. It is extremely close to my heart because not only is Divya Dutta one of my favourite actresses but she is a lady with the kind of poise, elegance and subtlety which is almost incomparable.
For the sixth session of day 2 at the Kolkata Literature Festival 2017, Dutta was in conversation with Anjum Katyal, an editor, writer, translator and critic. The winner of three Zee Awards, two IIFA Awards, Global Indian Film Award and others opened the session with a note of gratitude to Kolkata which to her seems to be welcoming one for the pre-launch of her upcoming book, ‘Me and Maa’.
The actor-turned-author recounted how she spent the last few days of her mother’s life staring at her while she fought with death on the hospital bed. She was depressed. She feels that the fear of losing the mother is one of the most intimidating ones for a daughter, almost universally.
It was at this moment that the actor on an impulse decided that she would write a book to celebrate the memory of her mother. She used the penmanship of the book to get over her depression after the demise of her mother.
“You’re not a typically beautiful girl to be a heroine,” is what her grandmother had told her when she revealed that she wanted to be an actress. Hailing from a family of doctors, it was difficult for Dutta to convince her family. It was only her mother who always supported her.
The author read out excerpts from her first book which Anjum Katyal describes as “a very poignant read about a mother-daughter relationship”. With a foreword from Shabana Azmi, the book promises to be quite an enriching experience if one is to go by how emotional the audience got during the session. It is difficult to hold back your tears during such an occasion.
“From a mother to daughter, the best thing is to not judge,” she said in between narrating various anecdotes from her childhood to her life as an actor.
What a wonderful treat it was for me as an author, as well as for the rest of Kolkata, I am sure. The city shall remember this for a very long time, Divya ma’am.
Follow #KLF17 on social media to stay updated about the festival.