Nandita Das was born in New Delhi to noted Indian painter, Jatin Das, an Oriya Hindu Kayastha, and a Gujarati Jain mother named Varsha who is a writer. She went to Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Lodhi Estate in New Delhi. She received her bachelor’s degree in Geography from Miranda House (University of Delhi) and Master of Social Work from the Delhi School of Social Work.
Nandita Das Das started her acting career with the theatre group Jana Natya Manch. She taught at the Rishi Valley School. She is best known for her performances in Deepa Mehta films Fire, Earth alongside Aamir Khan, Bawander and Amaar Bhuvan. Nandita Das has acted in films in ten different languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Marathi, Oriya and Kannada. The movie star Suganya provided Das’ speaking voice in the Tamil classic Kannathil Muthamittal. Nandita Das narrated the children’s audiobook series Under the Banyan, and Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography by Charkha Audiobooks The Story of My Experiments with Truth. She has also lent her voice to the children’s television series, Wonder Pets as the Bengal Tiger.
In 2008, she completed filming her directorial debut, Firaaq. Firaaq is a work of fiction, based on a thousand true stories and is set a month after the Gujarat carnage in 2002. It is an ensemble film that interweaves multiple stories over a 24 hour period, as the characters from different strata of society, grapple with the lingering effects of violence. The film traces the emotional journeys of ordinary people — some who were victims, some perpetrators and some who chose to watch silently. The film’s stellar cast includes Naseeruddin Shah, Raghubir Yadav, Paresh Rawal, Deepti Naval, Sanjay Suri, Tisca Chopra, Shahana Goswami and Nowaz.
In 2002, Nandita Das married Saumya Sen. The couple began Leapfrog, an advertising organization geared towards making socially conscious ad films. The couple divorced in 2009. After dating Subodh Maskara, an industrialist based out of Mumbai for a couple of months, she married him on January 2, 2010 and moved to Mumbai.Nandita Das and Maskara had a baby boy named Vihaan on 11 August 2010.