Durga in uWoman Of Substance

A journey of love and inspiration – Mrs. Nandita Puri

Mrs. Nandita Puri is a renowned writer, journalist, and wife of the late veteran actor Mr. Om Puri. Her journey from being a full-time journalist to being a celebrity wife, a columnist and a famous author is nothing less than inspiring and exciting.

Coming from a liberal family in Kolkata, Nandita lost her father when she was 10 years old and was raised by her mother alone. Having seen her mother work hard with dignity and respect Nandita dreamed of becoming like her. She pursued her dream of becoming a journalist and wrote for both Indian as well as international publications. With over two decades of experience in her kitty and immense success with her name, she had to give it all up when she tied the nuptial knot. But of course, it wasn’t easy to let go. The hunger to work remains and grows irrespective of who your better half is. While managing her duties at home, she took up freelancing and writing columns. She authored Potpuri for Mid-day (which was about cinema) and Khaas Chehre for Dainik Bhaskar, both of which went onto becoming very famous.

While being a celebrity wife she socialized with the who’s who of Bollywood, it was motherhood and the work that gave her an immense sense of joy and accomplishment. She travelled the world with her husband and started penning her travel stories and anecdotes. Soon she had started working on her book and in 2005 published her first book of short stories titled Nine on Nine. Having tasted success once more with this book, there was no stopping her. Nandita started working on the biography of her husband and in 2009 launched the book Unlikely Hero: Om Puri. It is this book that went onto become one of the best sellers and has since then been translated into several Indian languages. Having experienced so much in her life, Nandita says that its best to look at the brighter side of the things without ever losing the sight of ones’ dream. One might have to give up some while other things take precedence, but it’s better to adapt to situations and make the most of them.

Soon after the tragic death of her husband, Nandita felt the need to keep his legacy alive. She started the Om Puri Foundation at the Cannes Film Festival with an aim to take his films across the world to a larger audience. She also started the Om Puri Scholarships and Fellowships for students in theatre and films and Om Puri Kisaan Awards for the children of needy farmers as her late husband believed that every deserving student should be given a platform and an opportunity to rise.

A feminist at heart, Nandita thinks that women should not give up on their dreams. They should keep working on them in the background and things will click when the time is right. Till then ‘this too shall pass’ should be the mantra. Following the footsteps of her mother and her husband, Nandita believes that sincerity, hard work, and respect go a long way in life.

She is awaiting the publication of her fourth book Jennifer’s Story – non-fiction based on a true story on the perils of intercountry adoption and international child trafficking.

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