Being the daughter of the renowned advertising guru and theatre personality
Alyque Padamsee and well-known theatre actress Pearl Padamsee; it was
only natural for her to follow in her parent's footsteps even though her
dad was keen on she pursuing an MBA degree! Meet Raell Padamsee who
spills the beans on theatre, her contribution to the less privileged,
life and much more...
Early years that she recalls...
Born to a half Jewish, half Punjabi and a baptised Christian mother and
an agnostic father, she was brought up in Bombay. She recalls the woman
who was her earliest influence - her nanny Rosy. Raell reminiscences,
"She would take me to the church everyday. My school had a church
attached to it, so I was a regular and I grew up as a Catholic. The next
strong influence was her father Alyque Padamsee who was hell bent on she
pursuing MBA and was dead against her doing theatre. But Lady luck apparently
had other plans...
Grounding began at home...
She recalls fondly, "Our home was designed as a theatre and we had
rehearsals and workshops. In fact we never understood the concept of watching
TV in the evenings, as there was never a need for the same. Our home was
one vibrant melting pot of creative souls airing their myriad talents."
Learning to fly
Having started a company by the name of Magnum Sales Corporation, which
dealt in office equipment, Raell soon started a production compnay, on
her mother's request to produce plays. The company, by and by, got incorporated
as Ace Productions Pvt Ltd. (ACE stands for The Academy For Creative Expression).
"Having produced plays on a regular basis, we moved on to children's
theatre and children's workshops," she says. On several parents'
requests of including child artists in children plays instead of using
adults was born 'The Little Actors Club', which spread out to 16 centres
in Mumbai offering 6 courses. "We believe in holistic development
of the child and work value building; we teach them to be aware of their
environment, their rights, how to think creatively and out of the box.
Most importantly we help them to build their personality through the medium
of theatre" she expresses with pride.
She adds further softly, "The reason I decided to expand was when
I saw a 4-year-old child traveling for 2 hours every day to come to a
one hour class of mine and that too after attending school! I realised
that I needed to make this possible for kids all over, which is why wherever
we can, we insist on having open centres, so kids all over can benefit.
Women behind her...
"First my late mother Pearl Padamsee and then Dr. Mithu Chibb, Founder
of The Spastic Society Of India who revolutionised the way we look at
challenged children. She founded this organisation over 25 years ago.
Her child was mentally challenged child and there was no school that would
take her in, and that is why and how the organisation was born!"
she exclaims strongly.
On a mission!
Raell has started a trust called Create - Childrens Research in Education
and the Arts, Theatre Endowment in memory of her late mother Pearl Padamsee.
She believes in adding creativity to their curriculum, integrating children
from challenged and less privileged backgrounds with children from mainstream
schools and giving them a creative platform to come together and work
Today, she's a hi-flier...
Raell is currently producing Macbeth which is an international production
based on Tantric Metaphysical elements and would be
directed by her father Alyque Padamsee. The costume designing would be
done by ace designer Tarun Tahiliani and would have Louis Banks doing
the original sound track.
Words of wisdom
The last word by Raell, "Children are truly the future and we have
to invest all our energies into them. We have messed up this world in
so many ways, I am sure the next generation has a better chance if they
are brought up by instilling in them the right attitude."
This woman of substance signs off by saluting women out there who manage
to get up in the morning, handle their daily chores like cooking, cleaning,
looking after their children and sending them to school, braving the local
transport system, going to work and returning back home to get back to
their domestic schedules. Everything is their responsibility - home, family,
kids, husbands. in-laws. They do this day in and day out...relentlessly
with no respite.