There are shocked queries about why the Water director Deepa Mehta is missing from India at a time when her Oscar nominated film is finally being released. However, the truth is somewhat more painful than what's apparent.
Mehta flew into Delhi on March 8, morning from Toronto to be with her parents for the release of Water only to fly right back because of an emergency.
"I suddenly came to know that my life partner David Hamilton's father had passed way. So I had to rush back to be with him at this crisis time. It was a blow," Mehta told IANS.
"I had promised to be there for Water and to take my parents up on the hills for a week-long holiday. Alas, that won't happen. My parents are too old to go on their own. But Water will take care of itself. I've taken it as far as I can. Now I'm leaving it to follow its own course. The good thing about my sudden arrival and even more sudden departure is that I didn't have to unpack."
Hamilton is Mehta's creative and personal partner.
"I don't like to talk about him. But he's the one constant in my life besides my daughter Devyani whom, by the way, I'm very proud of for writing her memoirs at this young age. The book Shooting Water is as much about her life as mine, and about the struggle we went through to make Water. It's amazingly honest."
The Oscar nomination has given Water the pre-release boost that it perhaps craved for.
"Though I felt sad that we didn't actually get the Oscar, I feel walking the red carpet on that Oscar night was a triumph I'd never forget. It's pity that John is away in London. Water is now on its own. But it's no longer a baby. It can take care of itself."