| Charting new waters: Deepali Sahay |
Deepali Sahay — who burst on the small screen with the 2007 edition of Indian Idol — is working on a short film about a woman’s struggle after marriage.
The 24-year-old girl is learning TV direction at the Film and Television Institute, Pune. As part of the one-year curriculum, she is making the 20-minute short film, Kanti.
In a talk with The Telegraph, Deepali said the film would not only show the culture of Bihar but also help her realise the unfulfilled wishes of visiting her ancestral village.
She said: “Although I have not stayed in Rasoolpur (in Saran district), I am very much a village girl. I have heard a lot about the village from my parents, Dinesh Kishore and Reeta Kishore, and my grandmother who is no more now. I am very much into the rural way of life.”
Deepali grew up in Patna and did her Intermediate in arts from Patna Women’s College. But that has not taken away the essence of the soil from her.
“I wanted to make a Bhojpuri film. But, it is difficult to get Bhojpuri artistes in Pune, so I went for a Bihar-Hindi film. By that, I mean the language we speak normally — instead of saying ‘main’, we prefer saying ‘hum’ and the way we exaggerate things while talking. The audience would get a taste of the Bihar accent through my short film,” she added.
On the film, she said: “It has taken me around three months to make the short film and it would be complete in a month. My story is about a woman, Kanti, and her struggle. The 20-minute short film ends on a tragic note but depicts the life of a woman, who is taken for granted in a male-dominated society.”
The short film, she hopes, would be sent to a film festival once it is complete.
An excited Deepali said: “People outside the state think Bhojpuri movies mean vulgarity. But I want to change the mindset of such people and show them my Bihar. People should know that Bihar is something different — it has emotion and a beautiful culture. Though directors such as Prakash Jhaji already do that through their films, I shall add my little take to it.”
Deepali gained popularity throughout the country’s households with her performance on the singing reality show, Indian Idol, in 2007. Competing with the likes of Meiyang Chang, Amit Paul and Prashant Tamang (the winner of the season), Deepali held her ground till she was eliminated. She was the first girl from Bihar to secure a finalist’s position on the reality show.
Now studying at FTII, Pune, which has as its alumni stalwarts of the Indian film industry, including Jaya Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah and Prakash Jha, Deepali has put no restrictions on herself.
“Be it directing a movie for Bollywood or going for TV direction, I am ready for all. Work is work. Whatever work I’ll get, it would be bliss for me. I will prefer filmmaking but it would not matter if I go in for TV production. Filmmaking would not be a problem too, as we are taught about films in the course as well.” Her course will end in October this year.
The course Deepali is pursuing has 11 more students, who are all making their own short films.
Deepali, who graduated from Mumbai University, will also anchor a travel show based on Indian folk music for kids on ZeeQ soon.