Deepa Sahi is an Indian actress and producer from an Army background, who is best known for her role as Maya in the 1993 movie Maya Memsaab, opposite actor Farooq Sheikh. She made her directorial debut with the movie Tere Mere Phere in 2011.[1]

Deepa Sahi
Sahi at the launch of Maya Studio
Occupation(s)actress, Producer, director, script and story writer
Years active1984–present
SpouseKetan Mehta

Early and personal life

Sahi at Esha Deol's sangeet ceremony

Deepa Sahi, an ethnic Punjabi,[2] was born in Dehradun in an Army background and is the youngest sibling in her family. She grew up in Meerut.[3] Her family later shifted to Canada, but she continued to stay in India. She had an elder sister who died at the age of 18.[3] Sahi pursued her education at Indraprastha College for Women,[4] and was a gold medalist in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics.[5][6] Sahi later joined the NSD with the aim of becoming a director.[7] However, she started receiving acting offers from her NSD days, which prompted her to shift to acting. Sahi decided to direct her first film in the early days of her career but the film, Nana Karte Pyaar which was supposed to star Nana Patekar and Hema Malini failed to take off due to a recession.[8] She is married to film director Ketan Mehta, who is the nephew of freedom fighter Usha Mehta.[1] It is the second marriage for both of them.[5] Her cousins Meena and Tana are theatre actresses active in Delhi's theatre circuit.

Early career


An alumnus of NSD, Delhi, Sahi started off with a theater career, with strong social activism a core value of the productions she was involved with.

In her early film career she collaborated with noted auteur Govind Nihalani and made her debut with the 1984 film Party.[9] This was well received, and she subsequently acted in Aghaat (1985). Her thespian achievement, however, will always remain her role as the independent-minded and empowered lower-caste Punjabi woman she played in the highly acclaimed television film Tamas (1986).[3]

Commercial cinema


After marrying film director Ketan Mehta, she acted in several of his films including Hero Hiralal (1988), Maya Memsaab (1992) and Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India! (1995).[3] She wrote the screenplay for Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India!. Maya Memsaab was controversial for featuring an explicit sex scene between Sahi and then upcoming actor Shah Rukh Khan.[10] Her other notable films include Hum (1991),[3] Trinetra (1991) and Ek Doctor Ki Maut (1991).

Her last film appearances was in her husband's film Aar Ya Paar (1998)[11] She got a Filmfare best supporting actress nomination for Hum and National Award (Jury) for Maya Memsaab.[11]

In 2015, she returned to acting after 18 years appearing in her husband's film Manjhi – The Mountain Man in a cameo role as Indira Gandhi.[12]

Production career


She became a producer in 1993. She has produced seven films to date:

Year Title
1993 Maya Memsaab
1995 O Darling Yeh Hai India
1997 Aar Ya Paar
2003 Rules: Pyaar Ka Super Hit Formula
Mangal Pandey (co-producer)
2014 Rang Rasiya
2015 Manjhi - The Mountain Man

Besides this, she has produced 12 TV series and is promoter of Maya Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. one of India's leading animation studios.[7] She was the CEO of Maya Entertainment from 2000 to 2002 and was responsible for the long-term strategy of the company; she made many entries into other animation avenues such as MAAC, etc. After her stint as the CEO of Maya Entertainment, she returned to her first love cinema. She made her directorial debut with the 2011 film Tere Mere Phere. Together with Ketan Mehta, she co-founded an animation company, Cosmos-Maya


Title Year
Party 1984
Aghaat 1985
Aar Paar 1985
Tamas 1986
Hero Hiralal 1988
Dushman 1990
Trinetra 1991
Ek Doctor Ki Maut 1991
Hum 1991
Siasat 1992
Maya Memsaab 1992
Bhookamp 1993
Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India! as (writer) (screenplay) 1995
Aar Ya Paar 1997
Daughters of This Century 2001
Mangal Pandey: The Rising as (producer) 2005
Tere Mere Phere as (Director) 2011
Manjhi – The Mountain Man 2015
Toba Tek Singh as (producer) 2018


  1. ^ a b "Sense of humour is important in a marriage". Hindustan Times. 7 February 2011. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  2. ^ HT Correspondent (12 December 2006), "History will pour out of every brick of Gobindgarh Fort, says Deepa Sahi" Archived 30 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine, Hindustan Times. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Maya in control!". The Hindu. 9 September 2011. Archived from the original on 21 December 2019. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  4. ^ "DU has a lot on its ladies special platter". India Today. 3 June 2009. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Ketan Mehta: I must be the craziest man Deepa has met in her life". The Times of India. 28 October 2014. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  6. ^ "DEEPA SAHI". Whistler Film Festival. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b "I am too restless to be an actress: Deepa Sahi". The Times of India. 2 September 2011. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  8. ^ "No Rules, Make What You Want". The New Indian Express. 2 October 2011. Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  9. ^ "I'm too restless to act: Actress-producer Deepa Sahi". Daily News and Analysis. 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 14 December 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  10. ^ "18 Bollywood Controversies from the Past That Were a Big Deal Back then but Are Now Forgotten". Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Rare sighting: Maya Memsaab Deepa Sahi". NDTV. Archived from the original on 12 October 2020. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Deepa Sahi returns to the screen as Indira Gandhi - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2020.