I’ve been pretty upset the last few days over something that the print media has been distorting hugely . . . each one of you on Facebook has been totally silent about it – no comment whatsoever – and I appreciate that – and since I know you people care, I’d like to, to explain what has really happened –
Just before the release of ‘Listen Amaya‘ me and Farooque Shaikh were doing an interview for Rajiv Masand in my Versova terrace flat. I had been keeping unwell those days and had requested Rajiv’s camera team to cover over to my house instead of me having to go to his studio. Rajiv came over with his three camera setup and we were in the middle of this interview when three members from the Society barged into the flat and demanded that we stop this activity – they thought we were making a movie – I explained to them that they can sit here and watch – we are not making a movie, we are doing an interview – but they threatened to call the police on me. Rajiv, Farooque and my director Avinash Singh and his wife Geeta were all very embarrassed hearing this sort of conversation. We tried to wind up fast. Then one neighbor Mr Rajan Khurana was sent up to convey to me that the Society has threatened to call the police if we don’t stop ‘this activity’ right away. I explained again but to no avail. After that I got a call from the Secy of the building who was very irked and repeated that ‘We’ll have to call the police on you’. We cancelled all other interviews after that.
I was hugely embarrassed; I apologized to my colleagues and they quietly left.
I felt so humiliated and felt my rights as a resident were violated. I decided to pack my stuff from the Oceanic residence and come and stay at my Madh Island house.
I am an artist and have always given interviews in my own home – all artists do that all the time – there is nothing illegal about it – it is their right.
Never mine, now this is what follows the incident.
A week / eight days ago a journalist friend asked me what I was doing sitting in Madh – and I gave vent to my frustration. I told him over the phone that –
‘The Society treated me so badly and kept threatening me with “WE’LL CALL THE POLICE, WE’LL CALL THE POLICE”, as if I’m running a racket here!’
Next day it was out in print – in Mumbai Mirror – the sensational headline –
‘I’M NOT RUNNING A PROSTITUTION RACKET” – and the story about the society fiasco, stating how badly insulted I was by the members of my building. Nothing wrong with the contents of the article. But this is what follows . . .
Other papers have picked up the SENSATIONAL HEADLINE and implied as if the Society has ACCUSED me of running a prostitution racket. I’ve neen appalled! I will post those articles so you all can see how the press distorts everything to make eye-catching news! One of the tabloids has said –
DEEPTI NAVAL OUSTED OUT OF HER ‘PROSTITUTION DEN’
A dear friend, she called me – appalled at reading the contents in a Calcutta tabloid – ‘What is all this? Who has been accusing of running a racket?’
I explained to her that no one is ACCUSING me of running anything like that – it is the PRESS that is IMPLYING . . .
Of course I’ve been back at Oceanic in the last days and have conducted my meeting there as well – I’m a little confused – should I take action against the print media or should I let it go. If I let this go, then there are people who’ve said –
‘KUCH TO HOGA NA . . . AISE HIS TO NAHIN SOCIETY ITNA OBJECT KAR RAHI’ – Imagine?
Friends from the industry feel ‘let dogs bark . . . you carry on’
I was sitting there at my terrace flat – after Farooque and I had spent a whole day going to various radio stations giving fresh round of interviews before the re-release of the old Chashmebaddoore on April 5th – and I was looking around at my beautiful spacious home where I sit and dream, do all my writing work, invite friends, spend quality time with myself – and I was in tears . . . this sanctuary of mine to be called a ‘PROSTITUTIO DEN’ – in my heart, I apologized to my father who is no more in this world, and quietly prayed, –
‘I’m sorry, Piti, see what all this has catapulted into? Please help me learn to ignore it and move on – but I will not disappoint you – I will fight for my right!’
Thank you for bearing with me – I can’t go around explaining to the whole world but I can . . . to a few of you who I know, care . . .
Below is the MUMBAI Mirror story deepti is referring to
I am not running a prostitution racket
Deepti Naval lashes out at her housing society for humiliating her and Farooq Shaikh
Posted On Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 02:04:30 AM
Veteran actors Deepti Naval and Farooq Shaikh, who had formed a very successful romantic team in the eighties with classics like Saath Saath, Katha and Chashme Buddoor among others, were harassed and hounded out of Deepti’s apartment by members of her housing society.
Last Friday, Deepti and Farooq were speaking to a prominent TV journalists about the remake of Chashme Buddoor at the actress’s spacious terrace apartment where she has been living since the last 30 years. This is also where she has hosted high-profile parties and conducted many press meets and does all her writing and painting.
The two actors were in the midst of the interview when office bearers of the society in the building ‘Oceanic 1′ at Seven Bungalows, barged into her apartment and took strong objections to her conducting work in her residential space. They asked her and Farooq to stop “all this naatak” and they threatened to call in the police. They argued: conducting interviews in one’s home was against the rules of the society. The two actors who had never faced such an embarrassing situation did not want to create a scene or get into any argument with those who were determined to stop them from completing the interview.
A pained Deepti profusely apologised to Farooque and the TV crew, and was so humiliated that she immediately left for her apartment in Harmony in Madh Island from where she has yet to return.
Speaking to Mirror she could not hide her despair: “I was the first occupant of the building when no one dared to buy an apartment here. I have had many parties and the press has always found it very pleasant to meet me in my house. This is the first time that I was made to feel as if I was running a prostitution den. I have never felt so humiliated in my entire life. My only crime is that I don’t mix around with the people in the building because I have nothing in common with them. I don’t know what rules they are talking about when most of my friends have their meetings with the media in their own homes. I feel so terrible that I don’t feel like going back to my own house.”
Farooq felt bad for his colleague and said that he was unaware of any such law that prevented artistes from giving interviews at home.