Audience connect makes theatre a better medium for actors: Seema Bhargava
“People still call me Badki,” says actor Seema Bhargava Pahwa, who played the character of Badki in Doordarshan’s iconic TV series, Hum Log, which made her a household name. “It was Indian television’s first soap opera — an experiment for that time by Doordarshan. I would credit its success to Manohar Shyam Joshi, who wrote it beautifully,” she says.
The Delhi-born actor who has featured in films like Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), Wazir (2016) and others, began her career in 1968 as a child artist. Describing her love for the art form, she narrates actor Shah Rukh Khan’s dialogue from Chak De, India (2007): “Yeh sattar minute tumse koi nahi cheen sakta.”
The 52-year-old actor, whose stage journey began with the Delhi-based theatre group, Sambhav, feels theatre is a better medium for actors. “There is no wall between the audience and the performer. The gratification is instant, as one can interact with audience,” she says.
After shifting to Mumbai in 1994, theatre performances took a back seat for her, as there was a scarcity of theatre groups. That is until actor Naseeruddin Shah asked her to join his theatre group, Motley.
On December 2, the actor will be performing Saag Meat, at Club Patio in Gurgaon — thought provoking comedy. The play has been written by Hindi playwright Bhisham Sahni, and is directed, designed and performed by Seema. The play is a satire on the society where Seema will don the role of a Delhi-based Punjabi woman who cooks saag meat while narrating the story of her domestic help Jagga — how he comes into her life and becomes a part of the family.
Seema who has been enacting the play since past three years, says that people often share their experiences in between her performance. “I also converse with the audience during the act. Unki sunke, main kehti ab meri sunlo,” she adds, who will be seen in filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s next.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Google Doodle, for this year's International Women's Day, is honouring women who broke down the barriers and changed the course of history. It is also celebrating the trailblazers of present and future.