Known to bring ­sitcoms into Indian drawing rooms in the 1980s with TV series such as Karamchand and Office Office, Pankaj Kapur is irked by the current state of Indian ­television industry. The ­actor closes with a one-liner: "The fact that I am not in television speaks ­volumes of what I think of ­television today."
"I have a class with my students right now," says the no-nonsense thespian of Indian cinema, Pankaj Kapur, an alumnus of National School of Drama (NSD), as he’s approached for an interview.
The actor enters the Sammukh auditorium, to a full audience, standing ovation and a humbling introduction. There is a quick volley of question from the eager students and journalists alike, trying to pick on his wisdom and acting skills.
In the national capital to attend the 17th Bharat Rang Mahotsav, the recently-concluded ­theatre festival of NSD, the proud alumnus shares his longing for theatre. "I am still ­checking with myself if I have the stamina for the stage. There’s an intent to come back to ­theatre, and there is more seriousness this year as compared to previous years. I am still trying to find for myself if I not only do it ­(theatre) once, but as a ­continuous activity," he tells us.
Waman Kendre, director, NSD, confirms that Kapur might return to his alma mater as guest faculty once or twice a year. "He has promised that he is considering the request made by us," says Kendre.
Kapur, however, ­safely dodges the question, saying, "I don’t know yet. It was sweet of Waman to make that offer. I had vaguely discussed something with him yesterday as an outlook."
On ban on certain cuss words being used in film scripts, Kapur is not one to mince words. "We, as individuals, need to be sensitive about ourselves and our society. But in terms of artistic freedom, there is no way any diktat can be laid down on how a creative theme can be expressed. That is for the audience to pick and choose."