Deepa Mehta, just back ‘home’ in Toronto after receiving the award for ‘Brighest Indian Director Abroad’ at the IIFA in Yorkshire is delighted. “This was my first award from home, the first bonafide Indian award. And I’m very happy. Sure beats burning my effigies,” she says drawing reference to the way Deepa was hounded out of Varanasi while shooting Water.
“And my dear friend Shabana Azmi who was supposed to be in Water but couldn’t due to fundamentalist opposition, gave me the award. The extremely flattering introduction to Deepa’s award was read out by Karan Johar, thereby putting an end to the speculation about Karan blatantly favouring Mira Nair over Deepa by promoting the former’s Namesake.
“Karan and I have absolutely no problems. In fact he very endearingly told me at Yorkshire not to believe all the bitchy talk. Frankly this was the first occasion I felt I belonged to Bollywood. I had never met most of the stars. I got to meet such lovely people like Preity Zinta and Dino Morea. Bipasha of course I know through John. I really really like that girl.”
Deepa says Yorkshire made her lose her discomfort about Bollywood. “I felt a part of the fraternity. I felt like an Indian director. And the theme at IIFA, including the carpet, was green to celebrate the environment. And since green is the theme for my new film Luna, I was thrilled to bits.”