Actor and theatre artist, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, who is best known for essaying the role of Shakaal in Shaan (1980), was in the Capital recently for a play called Atmakatha.
“I am playing the role of a writer. It is a story of a writer who writes his autobiography and unfolds many truths of his life,” says Kharbanda. The actor says he has been doing theatre since childhood but only started taking it seriously during his graduation days at Delhi University (DU). “I joined a theatre group called Abhiyan which was formed by my seniors from Kirori Mal College (KMC). KMC has an amazing culture of theatre,” says Kharbanda adding that very few female theatre artists were part of his group. “In those days, you needed guts to keep a female artist in your group. We had only one and we were over protective about her,” says Kharbanda.
Kharbanda feels that the city has undergone a major change. The places which were familiar to him look different now. “Delhi is famous for its food. When you are elsewhere, you miss it too much. But now the city has changed, I get lost on the roads” he says. Mandi House was his favourite hangout zone. He also remembers the time when a coffee house in Connaught Place which nurtured intellectuals was demolished during Sanjay Gandhi’s regime.
The actor also regrets not taking up a scholarship from NSD during his graduation days. “I feel sad now, agar NSD chla jata to thoda aur pad likh leta,” laughs Kharbanda.
Kharbanda has been working in the industry for the last forty years and he believes that lot of development has taken place since then. “Cinema has become more organised now.” Kharbanda adds.