Veteran actor Tom Alter performed his two plays, Ghalib and Ghalib Ke Khat, with a heavy heart in Gurgaon on Sunday as the city’s most popular cultural haunt, Epicentre, closed its doors from Monday pending a fresh lease. “We were doing a show the other day in Sri Ram Centre, and realised that in the last 15 years, I have performed here more than 400 times. Unfortunately, these were the last shows at Epicentre, as it’s closing down. I have been performing here for 10 years now,”shares Tom.
Alter says it’s not that he loves theatre and historical characters, they love him just as much. “They are more in love with me. I have just been blessed. Since 2001-2002, there have been hoards of historical characters.”
Speaking of historical characters, does playing Ghalib come easy to him now? “I’ve been doing these plays for more than 10 years now. It’s a great pleasure and a great challenge to do Ghalib.He is the person everybody loves. And everybody knows his poetry so well. People have their own ways of reciting him, but you have to do as your heart says and not copy anybody else. There have been great performances of Ghalib, especially Naseer’s (Naseeruddin Shah). I love it,” says Alter, who has been planning a festival of his historical plays in March at Mumbai.
Alter is now preparing to play Ruskin Bond in a short film, which he says is a tribute to his old friend. Alter says, “We are shooting this at the end of April. Ruskin is a very old friend. I don’t look like him, he’s far more handsome (laughs). There is nobody who can copy him, so there is no attempt to mimic him.”
Alter, who’s had a fruitful career in Bollywood too, says he is glad the industry is exploring more themes now. “I’m glad people are trying out more themes now. I saw Dangal. No one would have made Dangal, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Mary Kom 10 years ago. When I wrote a sports novel in 2005, people laughed at me saying no one is interested in sports,” he says.