The right word

India Today - - SIMPLY BANGALORE -

“As soon as I was done with col­lege in Amer­ica, I jumped on a plane and came straight back to In­dia. In­dia is home for me. I haven’t felt like I be­long any­where else.

The daugh­ter of a diplo­mat, Arni grew up in In­dia, In­done­sia, Italy, Pak­istan and Thai­land. She was of­ten the new kid in school and never felt like she quite fit in. So she did what most in­tro­verted chil­dren do. She read. And what was most ac­ces­si­ble to her in the li­braries at the time, were In­dian epics.

THE FIRST BOOK The Ma­hab­harata—a Child’s View, Arni’s first book was pub­lished when she was only 12 years old. “It started out as a jour­nal of sorts, the kind that chil­dren keep, with pic­tures,” ex­plains Samhita. “It was al­most ther­a­peu­tic for me.” Since then, the book has been trans­lated into Ital­ian, Span­ish, Ger­man, Por­tuguese and Greek. It has also won the Best Pub­lished Book Award in 2004 by the Span­ish Min­istry of Cul­ture.

THE BACK­GROUND In 2000, she won a schol­ar­ship to study at the United World Col­lege of the Adri­atic in Italy. When she grad­u­ated in 2002, she left for the United States where she en­rolled for a de­gree in film stud­ies and re­li­gion at Mount Holyoke Col­lege in Mas­sachusetts.

NEXT She’s cur­rently work­ing with film­maker Sabiha Su­mar on her next fea­ture film and her lat­est novel is un­der pro­duc­tion, ex­pect­ing a re­lease early next year. Ti­tled Search­ing for Sita, Arni calls it a ‘spec­u­la­tive, fic­tion, fem­i­nist thriller,’ about Sita, based on the Ra­mayana.

Con­tact: www.samarni.com

sec­ond opinion

“Her work is grounded solidly and re­flects some­one who knows her ma­te­rial in­side out. It also has a light­ness and ex­u­ber­ance to it which is a very pow­er­ful com­bi­na­tion.” ANITA ROY, SE­NIOR EDITOR, ZUBAAN

SAN­DESH RAVIKU­MAR

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