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Talking about patchworks

Writer and poet Jerry Pinto was at his unrestrained best at the reading for his book, Leela: A Patchwork of Life. It is a collection of anecdotes, which best describe the enigma that Leela Naidu was.

books Updated: Jul 25, 2010 15:10 IST
Shweta Mehta

Writer and poet Jerry Pinto was at his unrestrained best at the reading for his book, Leela: A Patchwork of Life. It is a collection of anecdotes, which best describe the enigma that Leela Naidu was. An actress, beauty queen and one of Vogue’s World's Ten Most Beautiful Women, Naidu passed away last year, while this book was still in the making.

It took Pinto six years and seventeen drafts of the book to finally emerge with a winner. "I'd go to her with a draft and she'd call it perfect. Then she'd suggest a few minor changes and before I knew it, she's be slashing her pen across everything I'd written," reminisces Pinto.

Captivating the audience
Noted poet Adil Jussawalla and theatre personality Dolly Thakore were also present at the event. Pinto read several anecdotes from the book, highlighting the nuances of Naidu's personality in a captivating manner. Subtle humour was employed by the author to do justice to the dramatic elegance of his subject. Says Jussawalla, “Keeping in mind the trials and tribulations of her life, Pinto has done a great job of portraying Leela Naidu in a dignified manner.”

“It was hard for me not to let my personal opinions come in the way. It was a great challenge to write this book because I could not identify with her at all. As a 45-year old man, I had nothing in common with this 65-year old woman who was the epitome of poise and grace. I'm glad it has worked out well,” said Pinto.