Bewitched by Kashmir Beauty, Top Actress Fled Home At 13, Was Caught By Police

SRINAGAR: Kashmir has always been so alluring that many people feel the pangs of a Kashmir visit once they see the bewitching beauty on screen. Visitors in love with Kashmir have always been saying that they feel a difference in their lives once they visit Kashmir.

Deepti Naval

Recently, Deepti Naval, the Indian-born American actress said that she was so fascinated by Kashmir on screen she ran away from home at the age of 13 to reach Kashmir but was caught midway.

“I was 13, actually. You can’t keep track of where your thoughts go. I had seen a lot of movies at that time whose songs were all picturised in Kashmir. It used to be so dream-like. We used to stay in Amritsar in a walled city and I used to keep dreaming about going to the mountains,” Hindustan Times quoted Deepti saying at Sahitya Aaj Tak 2022 on Saturday.

“So, I decided one day to take off, leave home and live in Kashmir. I took a train to Pathankot, and then I was going to take a bus to Jammu, and then another bus to Srinagar. But I got caught at Pathankot only. The police brought me back to my parents. A complaint was also lodged back in Amritsar.”

Deepti said that she was fascinated by the sets that she saw on screen in Kashmir Ki Kali and Jab Jab Phool Khile.

She told the audience that she was embarrassed to mention the happening in her book, A Country Called Childhood: A Memoir. However, it was poet-lyricist Gulzar, who encouraged her to make a mention of it in the book.

The veteran actress took off with Shyam Benegal’s film Junoon (1978) and later starred in many popular flicks like Saath Saath, Chashme Badoor, Kissi Se Na Kehna, Rang Birangi and Katha. She married filmmaker Prakash Jha in 1985 but they were divorced in 2002. After divorce, she was living with filmmaker Vinod Pandit but the latter died of cancer.

Post-marriage, she said she did not get any roles and for several years she had no work. “I had to find my way back. That was one of the things that caused me depression,” Deepti was quoted as having said.

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