No dearth of people in theatre: Nadira

Updated on Apr 24, 2008 02:20 PM IST

Thespian Nadira Babbar, who was in Delhi for staging her play 1857 - Ek Safarnama, tells Parmita Uniyal that the growth of theatre in India has been slow but steady.

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Hindustan Times | ByParmita Uniyal, New Delhi

If we believe the words of theatre thespian Nadira Babbar, who was present in the city for staging her play 1857 - Ek Safarnama, theatre is doing better than ever.

"When I started out 25-26 years back, only 10-12 people used to come to see my performance, but now whenever I have brought Beghum Jaan to Delhi, the shows are going houseful," says the lady who has done a handful of films like Bride and Prejudice apart from theatre.

The wife of seasoned actor Raj Babbar and mother of a budding actor Arya Babbar is quite confident of the future of theatre in India. "I am satisfied with the growth of theatre in India. The speed is slow but then the society is also undergoing changes at a slow speed, so why do people expect theatre to grow instantly."

The journey of theatre 'Jaan'

NadiraBabbar moved to Mumbai in 1980.

She started her theatre group, Ekjute, which came out with its first production 'YahudikiLadki'in 1981.

Over the last 25 years Ekjute has given Indian theatre over sixty plays.

NadiraBabbar met her husband RajBabbar at NSD.

Her son AryaBabbar is a budding actor and daughter NadiraBabbar a fashion designer.

The director-cum-actress whose play Beghum Jaan has been hugely successful is concerned about the diminishing values in the society. "We are losing values in today's society. My play speaks of the time when unity and diversity were deeply rooted. Today we see ourselves running after material things. We create differences among ourselves when we should build relationships."

Nadira Babbar feels that there are still enough people to work for the theatre. "I don't think there is a paucity of people who are working for theatre. I don't mind theatre persons moving to Bollywood as it is a logical extension for an actor. Ye unki majboori hai (This is their need). But yes we do expect them to come back to theatre someday."

Nadira's play 1857 - Ek Safarnama is based on the first war of independence and she is quite excited about the play. "I am feeling great. It's for the first time that I am working in such a luxury. Earlier it used to me a one-man show. Hamesha paise ki kami mein kaam kiya hai. (I've always suffered financial problems in work) And now there are so many people and money associated with my play this time.

The lady who has done almost 60 plays in her career spanning three decades is too excited at the moment. "I can't hold back my excitement. It's a dream come true. But at the same time, I am very nervous also.

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