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“Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good.” ― Terrence Mann
I pinch myself. And pinch again. Is this really me, at my home, sitting next to Tripurari, Professor of Acting, and a onetime acting Director, of National School of Drama (NSD). The NSD which counts among its alumni Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Anupam Kher, Irrfan Khan, Raj Babbar and many other famous persons; and counts among its Directors the one and only Ebrahim Alkazi, the doyen of Indian theatre, the one who revolutionised Hindi theatre.
Tripurari, the conferee of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar – the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists; one of the ninety nine women from India nominated for the ‘Thousand Women for Nobel Peace Prize’ by an international initiative.
Ask her about acting and theatre and she comes alive. The voice is strong, assured, enthusiastic.
“Acting as an art is a way to break free of the codes handed to us, to live many lives, to experiment with the given moment, to generate a spark. . . . ”
And she goes on. From acting to theatre – “Something that can be said in a few words cannot be the subject of a play” and “theatre is like dew, like the shadow in water, rather like water, which is more inconsistent than the shadow. You don’t know what remains and what flows – then to street theatre – “Street theatre performers are often activists for a cause, but street theatre is not about message. The message is a discovery” – and that “theatre is a metaphor of life, but sometimes it can miss the ordinariness of life in performing spaces, the warmth of people and interesting characters.”
I listen with rapt attention. And even though I am not literate in art and theatre, she is so lucid that I understand all that she is conveys about them. Her enthusiasm is infectious. And so I extract a promise from her that I will get invitations to NSD’s plays and other productions.
An evening worth its weight in gold.
Continue reading Tripurari