Ash wows 'original' Mistress of Spices
Author Chitra Divakaruni tells Yojana Sharma Ash has brought out well the caring compassion of her protagonist.india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 21:04 IST
Author Chitra Divakaruni, of Mistress of Spices fame, feels that Aishwaya Rai has done justice to the character in the novel's celluloid adaptation. The film, directed by Gurinder Chadha's husband, Paul Mayeda Berges, will releases in India this Friday.
Divakaruni says, "Both the characters, the one in book and the one in the movie, possess a great inner calm, a caring compassion, and strength. But they are also vulnerable and human. Ash brings that out well."
Accolades have just started pouring for Ash since this film is slated for a Cannes premiere. In a freewheeling chat with Yojana Sharma, she confesses that she had never thought Mistrss of Spices will become such a rage. Excerpts from an interview:
You had written Mistress of Spices way back in 1990's. Did you have any idea that the novel will make it this big?
Actually, it came out in 1997. No, at that time I had no idea!! But soon after its publication, Gurinder Chadha called me and said she wanted to make a movie. I was, of course, very pleased.
How is your protagonist, Tilo, similar to Aishwarya Rai, who plays the lead in Paul Mayeda Berges' film?
I think both the characters, the one in book and the one in the movie, possess a great inner calm, a caring compassion, and strength. But they are also vulnerable and human. Ash brings that out well.
Do you think she will be able to do justice to the lead role?
Yes, I have seen the movie already.
Were you in touch with Paul and Gurinder Chadha while they were scripting the film? How much have they altered with the novel before adapting it to a film script?
They contacted me periodically, when they wanted to share information or ask questions. Many things have changed (as they must in a movie) but they have preserved the spirit of the book.
Were you consulted while the directors were finalising the casting?
They informed me as they decided things. That was OK with me.
Do you watch Hindi films?
Yes, both Bollywood and independent cinema.
How do you rate Aishwarya as an actress?
I saw her in many popular films, but also in Chokher Bali and Raincoat, and liked her acting very much in those more serious roles.
What have you written recently? Any new novel, or story book?
I am working on a new novel based on TheMahabharata.
Your favourite Indian author?
Mahasweta Devi, Tagore, Arundhati Roy, Rohinton Mistry, Amitav Ghosh.