Pankaj Kapur writes novel “Dopehri”

Veteran actor Pankaj Kapur will soon release his debut novel ‘Dopehri’, based on a play of the same name which he wrote and directed several years ago. “Dopehri” is the story of Amma Bi, an elderly widow who lives alone in her deserted family haveli in Lucknow. Her only companion is a dishevelled young servant who comes in twice a day. Every afternoon, Amma Bi hears the sound of footsteps on the stairs and her heart fills with panic. She peeks out the door only to find no one there. After considering a move to an old peoples’ home, an anxious Amma Bi ends up taking in a lodger, a young woman named Sabiha, with a mysterious occupation and a winsome personality. When Sabiha’s secret is revealed, Amma Bi discovers reserves of ingenuity, skill and love she never knew she had, and what started out as the tale of a haunted haveli turns into a heart-warming one about ageing, self-discovery and female bonding. Originally written in Hindi, “Dopehri” will be published simultaneously by HarperCollins in three editions: Hindi (in Devanagari script), Hindi (in Urdu script) and in English translation.

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