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Deepa Mehta has no time for films

Deepa Mehta
There is a big fat Punjabi wedding waiting to happen at Deepa Mehta's farm house in Canada. Her daughter Devyani is all set to marry her boyfriend, the well known Toronto-based architect Ian Chodikoff, who also edits the 'Canadian Architect' magazine. Devyani and Ian have been seeing each other for some years. Pleased as punch with the alliance, proud mother-in-law Deepa has put both her mammoth projects on hold until all the wedding festivities are over. Glowing with pride about the matter of the bride, Deepa says, ''Right now I can't think of anything except my daughter's wedding. Ian is a wonderful son-in-law. And yes he's Canadian.''

Deepa herself has a Caucasian life partner David Hamilton whom she never married. But in spite of a failed first marriage, she isn't against the institution. ''When Devyani told me she was going to marry Ian, I jumped out of my chair with joy. I've liked Ian from the start and was pretty sure he was the right choice for her.'' Elaborating on D-Day, Deepa divulges, ''We've chosen 12 September for the wedding. It'd be held at my farm house on the outskirts of Toronto.''

The guest list would be very exclusive. ''My mom is already here with me. My brother Dilip and sister-in-law are expected to join us. Also some other close relatives.'' The couple will undergo a mix ceremony that would mark the merger of Hindu and Christian rituals. ''It would be a very informal impromptu and spontaneous ceremony,'' informs Deepa. From the Mumbai film industry, Akshay Kumar who is a Canadian citizen and also the leading man of Deepa's historical Kamagata Maru is expected to attend.

Right now Deepa isn't thinking of her work. ''My two projects Kamagata Maru and Midnight's Children are on hold. I've completed the script of Kamagata Maru and the principal casting. We start principal shooting in March 2010.'' As for her ambitious adaptation of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das and Seema Biswas have already been cast. Salman Rushdie himself wants to play a supporting role. The protagonist's role is still open. But Deepa is in no hurry to cast.

''After the wedding I've to sit with Salman and finish the script. Having known him for so long, it's a pleasure to work on the script with him. We'll go into the casting of the hero Salim Sinai as soon as the script is done.'' But Salman Rushdie would like Imran Khan to play the lead. As for the poor response to her last film Heaven On Earth in India, Deepa says, ''Every film has its own destiny. Women in Punjab responded against this whole idea they have there of sending their daughters off to foreign countries after marrying them to NRIs without ascertaining their credentials. If such hast marriages are discouraged by my film I think I've succeeded.''

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