It is now night time in Nepal. The sun has completely set in Vedihari, a small southern village near the Indian border. The population of this place is less than 6 thousand. Air pollution is very low. There are no street lights. The machine is not loud. The sound of crickets and the stars spread across the sky.
A little girl wakes up curiously looking for the light of the full moon. Leaving the house made of mud, she follows the blue smoke. As she moves forward, she falls to the ground as her feet get stuck in the rocks and mud. However, this is strictly prohibited for girls of this age.
She enjoys silence. Junkiris follow him. The little girl is surprised to see the moon. Amita Suman knew how to walk towards the big picture. “I remember if I could jump far enough I could touch it. The way to describe it was that I was in the movie Avatar.
She narrated these childhood memories. Suman’s life has become a series of these magical moments. Every experience is unlikely to be repeated. Like, that moment when he watched television for the first time. This time is when there is a festival in his village. They needed a power source to connect the line to the TV, which, when connected, lit up the screen.
She compares the experience to the Oscar-winning film ‘Room’ with Brie Larson. “I saw that film and it has a very deep connection with me. It is not difficult to understand the separation between the freedom you seek and the four walls around you,” she says. This film is much darker than Amita’s life.
In this film, a young boy is seen stuck between four walls throughout his childhood. He cannot think of the world beyond that wall. When Amita saw the TV and opened the door. That black and white scene on television completely changed the journey of Amita’s life.
Amita wanted to enter TV and for this she had to cross the Caspian Sea and many countries. So how did she establish herself there?
Suman’s father was a high ranking member of the Nepal Police. She narrates, ‘From this, another world was discovered. He wanted to provide good education for his children, especially for girls. The education system at that time was based on the belief that the country’s resources should be used on men.
As a child, Amita did not understand these dynamics. By nature, childhood is childhood. She remembered fishing during the rainy season. She remembered that she was afraid of the snake and the moon and ran away. “I think it’s a testament to the incredible mother I have. I think he is my God,” she said. If Amita’s father had not sent her to a boarding school outside the village, she would not have seen another part of the world.
There he was introduced to books and the noise of the western world. He thought that there are only two countries in the world – one is Nepal and the other is a western country. After a year and a half, Amita reached England. in Brighton, UK. He has been given a culture shock. She cooked food in her backyard and went to primary school. In Nepal, every time the headmaster entered the room, he had to meet his gaze. Amita continued this tradition for a few weeks in Brighton until she realized that things were no different. There was language learning, everything you’d expect. But for Amita, this journey was not so crazy.
Ever since she was born, she was looking for something big. This is why she chases the moon and promises TV that one day she will be with him. I asked Amita how long it took to call England home. She deflected the question. “I think I discovered my ability to adapt to the environment, to immerse myself completely and enter it,” she says, “I never felt it was home.” I could call anywhere else my home.
Film alone was not enough to keep Amita away from acting. Initially, she enrolled in drama classes, but only for fun. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was really insecure. I had no friends. I only understand the language,” she says.
In recent years, she has acted in a serial based on an accident, where she played the role of a doctor. ‘Outpost’ is his regular series. Along with this, the Netflix series ‘Shadow and Bone’ is also one of his famous series now. It is based on two stories by author Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone and The Six of Crows. Both these shows are among the most watched shows on Netflix so far. The first season was watched by more than 55 million people.
Amita played the character of knife-wielding detective Inez in the series, one of the main players among the six protagonists in the series. It is clear that she has found her home, albeit a fantasy. She did not even think that she would reach here. “You never see colored people in your imagination. We started listing some of the classic films, including Lord of the Rings, Harry Porter, Star Wars, where the leading characters were not white,” she recounts.
Amita loves movies more than anything. Be it The Room describing her discovery on TV, The Whale reflecting the human condition, she has presented the moments of her life through films. Shadow and Bone has embodied his dream. His scenes are trained in Hollywood. “I want to be on the big screen,” she says about her dream.