Born at Gujranwala (Pakistan), brought up in Haryana and based in Chandigarh—thespian Parvesh Sethi has maintained excellence as an actor, director, writer, and above all, a makeup artist. He remains the most admired all-rounder, thanks to his six-decade-long glorious innings. Credited with over 500 plays, TV serials and films as an actor, and many more as a makeup artist, Parvesh has brought laurels to the art realm and Chandigarh.
The receiver of Balraj Sahni national award (2002), State Award (2004), Life Achievement awards by Virasat Canada and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award (2012) for acting talks to HT City about his triumphs and regrets on the sets of his forthcoming Hindi feature film, Sandhya.
What does the Sangeet Natak Akademi award mean to you?
It is like a blessing that my work and dedication to theatre has been recognised at the national level. This further binds me to invest my efforts in propagating theatre.
Having a mastery over acting as well as makeup, what remains closer to your heart?
Acting gives you instant popularity, while for makeup you have to study the character of the artiste, the script and provide him or her with the look that supplements the role.
What are your views on the theatre graph of the tricity?
Theatre is a complete art—aesthetic blend of music, dance, literature and visual art. One needs to have the knowledge of all these ingredients to understand its nuances. Theatre in tricity has potential, in view of the appreciation and support by the government and other academies. The Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi has taken theatre to villages, organising various festivals. Today, about 20 theatre festivals are held in the tricity each year. It’s a major development, compared to the ’60s, when just one play was staged over a span of many months.
You have done many TV serials and films, how do they differ from theatre for you?
TV serials, especially the ones by Jaspal Bhatti, and films have given me instant fame. Theatre, on the other hand, is very close to my heart. In theatre, every thing is purely intuitive and spontaneous, while establishing a direct contact with the audience.