Kathmandu, Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala, who became unpopular in her own country Nepal five years ago by supporting the army-backed coup of King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah, is set to lend a helping hand to another member of the former royal family.
Next month, Manisha, who now also has a foot in the Nepali film industry, will launch in New Delhi’s Oberoi hotel a third novel penned by Sheeba Shivangini Shah, who is married to the nephew of the deposed king, Lt Col Bikash Bikram Shah.
“Facing my Phantoms”, published by Rupa, is a semi-autobiographical novel, tracing the migration of Sheeba’s family, the turmoil in Nepal, the reign of four different kings and the 10-year Maoist insurgency.
The book launch is being handled by an event management company. The list of invitees includes the media, socialites and a virtual Who’s Who of India and Nepal.
A special list will be drawn up by Devyani Singh nee Rana, whom Nepal’s crown prince Dipendra wanted to marry before he died in a carnage in the palace in which the then king and queen also perished.
The April 24 launch will be followed by a second one in Kathmandu at the Hotel de l’Annapurna where the former royal family still holds stakes.
The 34-year-old former princess debuted as an author in 2003 with “Loyals of the crown”, a mammoth tale of the court intrigue and bloodbath in 1846 when a junior queen of the Shah dynasty ordered a mass killing of noblemen in revenge after her lover was murdered.
Now established as a serious writer with three novels, Sheeba’s next venture will be a coffee table book.
Sheeba herself is also eyeing Bollywood.
She has been seeking to draw attention of producers towards her second novel, “Beyond the Illusions”, that revolves round “tantra” and the transgressions of a tantric bent on acquiring superhuman power.
She has presented a copy of the novel to Manisha’s brother Siddharth, who is also an aspiring actor in Bollywood. Siddharth is in contact with a famous director, who is planning to make a film on a Nepal-based story in which he may cast Naseeruddin Shah, Irfan Khan and Farooq Sheikh.