It was an American film which dealt with the spiritual journey of a boy
in his search for enlightenment. My role was of the courtesan, who
teaches him the pleasure of life and love. In the olden days that's
what courtesans did!
The book was by Herman Hesse; and like most teenagers I read it
when I was 17. Even today, the book is taught in most U..S..
colleges, for Literature and Philosophy, and even on-line
Literature now. And the films is part of the curriculum.
So when Conrad Rooks approached me to play Kamala, I was
intrigued, but a little hesitant because of the love scenes
that were inherent to the role. It took some time to conjure
the mind set and to believe it was Kamala, not Simi, who
was rendering them.
As expected, the love scenes did become controversial; but
I felt I had been true to my role.
Winner of the Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival,
the audience gave it a standing ovation; and when we
emerged from the theatre, the European audiences were
humming 'O nodire' and begged to buy the music!
The film went on to become a cult classic.
The sheer beauty of the film was created by the Swedish
master cinematographer, Sven Nykvist, Ingmar Bergman's
  I read that last year Phil Jackson, the LA Laker's coach,
  presented the basketball legend Shaquille o'Neal with
   Siddhartha. "I wanted Shaq to sense the discipline, the
     asceticism, the denials and deprivations, along the path to
      salvation," he said. "I want Shaq to take the steps to inner
      peace, to become quiet and detach from desire. Not
       eliminate it, but not fall prey to it"