I, the Salt Doll

I, the Salt Doll

Vandana Mishra

Translated By

Jerry Pinto




Paperback with flaps


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Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

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(Paperback with flaps | ISBN 9789385755767 | 232 pages | April 2016)


Sushila Lotlikar was barely in her teens when tragedy forced her to give up her education and join Parshwanath Altekar’s Little Theatre in Mumbai in 1940. But the young Konkani girl soon became a hit on the Gujarati stage and went on to storm the Marwadi stage. And then, at the age of twenty-one, she retired. Taking her mother’s advice—‘The world of cinema and theatre is like a coal shop, your hands are going to get black’—she married actor-writer Pandit Jaydeo Mishra and ‘moulted’ into Vandana Mishra. But in a singular twist of fate she was to return to the stage twenty-two years later and begin another glorious innings as a character actor.
I, the Salt Doll is the story of an exceptional woman—talented, resilient and possessed of a tremendous zest for life. Equally, it is an engaging chronicle of an entire era—of life in India over half a century, beginning in the early 1930s. It is also a compelling portrait of Mumbai—seen from within; from the stage, from the heart of the old city, from the new suburbs—and in its own quiet way, a plea for the pluralism and diversity that made it a great metropolis.
Vandana Mishra lived through some ‘interesting times’, and her singular voice in this narrative laced with songs and sayings will ring in your ears long after you have put the book down.


Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


‘A warm, wise, witty memoir, lit with joy and an unfailing optimism.’
—Shanta Gokhale

‘Rich, delightful reading. The transparency, the joyous wisdom, the unselfconscious humility, the impish humour of the writer: the reader bathes in the glow of a beautiful soul as he reads this autobiographical narrative. I would unhesitatingly put this book next to Laxmibai Tilak’s Smritichitre.’
—Mahesh Elkunchwar, renowned playwright and litterateur

‘A thought-provoking read, particularly when Maharashtra is besieged by narrow, regional politics.’

‘An unerring eye for detail, a bubbling sense of humour … [this] memoir displays exceptional clarity of thought and expression.’
Pune Mirror

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About the author

Vandana Mishra

Vandana Mishra (née Sushila Lotlikar) was born on 26 January 1927. She was a well-known actor and theatre personality of Mumbai’s Gujarati and Marwadi stage during the 1940s. She gave up the theatre after her marriage to Pandit Jaydeo Mishra, returning to it after a long hiatus. Her memoir, Mee Mithaachi Baahuli, published in Marathi, […]

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