CNN rediscovers Delhi with Nandita Das

MUMBAI: CNN International’s The Scene, an interactive series of city profiles, will take viewers through the streets of India’s capital city, New Delhi, with Bollywood actress Nandita Das.


The vignette will be aired on CNN International during CNN Today throughout the week starting 20 November, 2006.


Das relives her childhood and youth as she walks down the streets of New Delhi. She strolls down the commercial markets, popular eating joints and historical and religious places as she guides the viewers through the city that she was born in.


She is known for her critically acclaimed performances in films like Fire and Earth. She also holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and her work in social activism involves human rights issues, particularly with respect to women and children.


While talking about Delhi she said, “It has a pace that’s not too frenetic, unlike Bombay. It’s not too crowded and is much more spacious and green because it can expand horizontally instead of just vertically. People are a little more laid back, and I think, so am I. It kind of works with my pace of life. Of course in any city, there are different worlds that exist, and the world that I belong to – primarily artists and people doing social work in the voluntary sector – there is a lot of space for that. It’s less commercial.”


Speaking about her cause to support traditional Indian crafts, she says, “My father, who’s a painter and an artist, collects handicrafts and hand woven things so it’s really something I’ve grown up with. In those days there were no video games – for us, entertainment was coming to places like the Delhi Crafts Museum. You get to meet artists from all over the country, you learn about their lives, buy little things and the great thing is all the money goes directly to them.”


At India Gate, she reminisces about her youth. “In my college days I used to come here often. We’d come here and play, sit around, romance,” she said.


Nandita also visited Connaught Place, the Crafts Museum, the Old Fort and Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, among other places in Delhi.


The Scene is built around a weekly series of city short films, each hosted by a personality associated with that city.

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