Unlike most Indian actors, she refused to move to Bombay ("Bollywood") and still lives in Delhi.
Her father is the famous Indian painter Jatin Das.
Her mother, Varsha Das, is a writer.
She started acting with a street theatre group called Jannatya Manch and did this for six years.
She taught at the Rishi Valley School (started by J. Krishnamurti). After she did her Master's in Social Work (MSW), she started working with an NGO called Ankur and then for Alarippu, a children's organisation which is about making education more enjoyable for children from underprivileged homes. She also got her bachelor's degree in Geography.
Her debut film was Prakash Jha's "Pariniti" in 1987, a small film made for TV and the film festival circuit. She had a small but powerful role in it.
Member of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005