The truly creative turn every experience in life into art. Every impression, relationship and chance encounter finds a way axiomatically into their creations.
A natural propensity to be curious about life and about everything life has to offer, has been the singular driving force behind Mira Nair's prolific and innovative film making. Rural jatra artists, a single-cinema house in Rourkela, Urdu and Persian poetry, a still photography course at Harvard - each has played its part in helping shape and inspire her craft.
Anyone who meets Mira is certain to be overwhelmed by her sense of compassion and empathy. It was her empathy for the lesser privileged that had in fact shaped her first fiction film. Salaam Bombay - centred around the lives of street children in Bombay was revolutionary for so many reasons - a film where she employed real street kids to act, and even went on to develop the Salam Balak Trust for their well being.
Towards the beginning of her career, Mira had made her foray into films with documentaries. Two of her earliest works, India Cabaret and Children of a Desired Sex were both coloured and largely influence by her childhood rebellion against her father's patriarchal ways.
One of her most loved films, Monsoon Wedding, was born out of a day of a typical large Indian family. The chaos, the energy, the mirth and laughter - it was almost as if Mira had taken a page out of her own life.
Mira still watches Ritwik Ghatak's Meghe Dhaka Tara once every month - a ritual she's been following for decades, and perhaps the reason why she is such a master in blending the classic with the contemporary. Read all about Mira Nair's creative process and how she goes about crafting her innovativeness in the book, She Walks She Leads.