Anupam Kher chooses subjects that he knows people will identify with. The actor, who has appeared in around 400 films and numerous plays, says, “I can never do Shakespeare. I am not passing a judgment on writers. I can’t do a play just for myself. I can only do realistic plays which people can understand.”
The 61-year-old actor is in the city to stage his play Mera Who Matlab Nahin Tha.The play, as he promises, is about love, longing, pessimism, optimism, sadness, happiness and children – everything that most people identify with. He is performing in Chandigarh after a gap of 42 years.
Calling theatre an exciting medium, he adds, “There is no retake and the audience keeps changing; so does the feel of the play with the audience,” adding, “This must be our 92nd show in the last one year, and we started our play on March 27, 2015, on my birthday. I had been performing my solo act Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai, for over a decade with almost 330 shows and was looking to do a new play, originally with Kirron Kher. But she got busy with politics.”
He has asked his wife and the Chandigarh MP to sit in the fourth or fifth row because he doesn’t want someone he knows to be sitting in the first row.
Dedicating the play to Balwant Gargi, Kher says, “This was the place where I got my first professional training from the department of Indian theatre, at a time when Balwant Gargi was the head of the department.” He fondly remembered his teacher, well-known theatre personality Rani Balbir Kaur, who was recently selected for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2015.
Talking about the play’s background, he says, “Four years back, I was shooting with Rakesh Bedi when he shared the idea of this original play. It is a play about first love and how circumstances don’t go in the lovers’ favour that leads to their separation.” The actor who has also starred in Hollywood films like Golden Globe nominated Bend It Like Beckham and Oscar-winning Silver Linings Playbook, tells us how his latest film Buddha in a Traffic Jam was criticised for having Right leanings.