Rajat Kapoor: Delhi has a culture of theatre; Gurgaon is also enthusiastic about plays

Rajat Kapoor compares the theatre scene in Delhi and Gurgaon; also talks about his decision to crowdfund his upcoming film, RK/Rkay.

bollywood Updated: Sep 03, 2017 16:40 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Rajat Kapoor,Delhi,Gurgaon
Actor and director Rajat Kapoor reminisces his days spent in Delhi.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Rajat Kapoor moved from Delhi to Mumbai almost three decades ago, but the film and theatre actor hasn’t been able to bid adieu to the charm that the Capital exudes. “I grew up in Delhi. I didn’t move out till I was 25. Of course, now I’ve been away for a long time, but I have immense nostalgia for the city. Every time I come back, I’m awestruck by its beauty. The trees are to die for,” he says.

Kapoor, whose adaptations — Macbeth, Hamlet, and Nothing Like Lear — were being staged in Delhi, also visited Gurgaon last weekend for the screening of his film, Ankhon Dekhi (2013). Asked why the theatre scene in the Millennium City is lagging behind, he says that presence of cultural institutes plays a huge role in bringing culture activities to a city.

“Delhi has had a huge culture of theatre... Epicentre (popular cultural center) did something for theatre in Gurgaon, but sadly it isn’t there anymore. But, there’s a big enthusiastic theatre audience in Gurgaon”

“Delhi has had a huge culture of theatre. This might have something to do with the presence of National School of Drama (NSD) in the city. Plus, at many theatre festivals here, the audience is treated to plays in all Indian languages — a luxury denied to most other cities in the country. As for Gurgaon, Epicentre (popular cultural center) did something for theatre, but sadly it isn’t there anymore. But, there’s a big enthusiastic theatre audience in Gurgaon, and that’s why we are invited with our shows to private clubs there. May this culture of alternative space flourish,” he says.

Having also directed films such as Raghu Romeo (2003), Mithya (2008) and Ankhon Dekhi (2014), Kapoor is taking the route of crowdfunding for his upcoming movie, RK/RKay. It is about a filmmaker named RK, who is directing a new film and starring in it, too.

“If you’re trying to do something that’s not exactly mainstream, it’s never going to be easy to get funds for that film. Because the conventional sources of funding believe in conventional ways of storytelling, and if there is any departure from that kind of narrative, it does not go down well. So, an alternative route must be found. We are looking to raise Rs 2.5 crore, which is small for a feature film, but is ambitious on a crowd funding platform. However, I’m hopeful and optimistic. The film is mad, whacky and lot of fun. We do not necessarily want 50 people who would give 5 lakh each, though that would get us faster to the target. But, how about 50,000 people who would give just 500 rupees each? That should be achievable.”

How do stories come to his mind? What inspires him, we asked. “I don’t know, but it isn’t a passive process. Stories do not come to you, if you are not there chasing them. One has to work at it, keep working at an idea, something that tickles your imagination at the moment. And then you get an inkling; of an idea that you were not even thinking about. Some other tangential thing makes itself available to you. And it’s a gift, a present probably from your own subconscious to you or from the universe. In either case, you do not argue with it, you accept it gratefully and then rest of the work is of craft of chiseling and giving things form,” he says.

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First Published: Sep 03, 2017 16:40 IST