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There can be no retakes in theatre: Anupam Kher

Life&More November 9, 2017
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Pelican Entertainment and Actor Prepares Productions have brought the play Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha to Delhi. This two-hour-long Hindi language play is written and directed by Rakesh Bedi.
A tete-a-tete with lead actor Anupam Kher on his theatre experience with Mera Wo Matlab Nahin Tha, love for films, on taking over as the FTII Chairman and more…

The play revolves around two people who once loved each other meet after 35 years. If you find yourself in such a situation, say hypothetically, how would you react to it?
I don’t know how would I react but when you see your partner after so long, you feel so beaming and satisfied that your crush is alright and living the life very smoothly.

How easy or comfortable would you be to pour your heart out to someone after more than three decades, like in the play?
I would say when you love someone and if things don’t work accordingly then also feelings will be mutual. Because they had confusion in their high-school days. They didn’t fight. Simply things didn’t work as they misconceptualised their feelings as well.

Your take on the patriarchal society we live in…
According to me, this is completely wrong. I am not in a favour of this. In today’s life women are far beyond than men. They proved themselves on every stage whether it is for Nation or for domestic life. They are equally capable to stand proudly with their own identity. They don’t require anyone’s last name.

How has been the experience in working with two of the most talented people of the fraternity – Neena Gupta and Rakesh Bedi, that too in a play? Did you ever get a chance to work with them in a movie ever?
Of course I worked with Neena Gupta in almost 7- 8 movies. Most popular movie was Khalnayak. She is a very talented actress. We knew each other from our acting school days.

The title of the play, Mera Woh Matlab Nahin Tha, can have different connotations for different people. Can we have yours?
The title of the play derives from our day to day life. We try to say different thing but people misinterpret and don’t cross check what exactly we wanted to say. Then grudges come. After a long gap we get to know what exactly the other person wanted to convey. It happens.

Has it ever happened in real life that you have faced a situation where you would have said, Mera Woh Matlab Nahin Tha…
Undoubtedly yes.

Though both have their own creative space, which stream do you find more satisfying – theatre or films?
Both are very important and close to my heart. Theatre taught me how to do acting off camera. Your voice, pitch, dialog delivery and timing all should be correct. You can’t take retake in theatre. Whatever you have delivered, people judge. But in movies you can have retakes. If you think you can do better, you give one more chance to yourself. You can see your act. You can work on your minute mistakes.

As the FTII Chairman , what new steps are you planning to take to make it a better place as time and again it has been projected as a troubled place?
There are so many responsibilities on my shoulder. I am preparing myself to work hard and in a right direction.

FTII has indeed given us the finest talent in the film industry. Where do you think things went wrong that the institution got itself a bad name?
………..Yes, we are looking on that matter and searching what best we can deliver.

The FTII students have forwarded a list of problems in the Open Letter sent to you after you took over as FTII chairman. Do you agree with them?
Yes, they have shared. We will see how we can solve their problem.

Watch Mera Wo Matlab Nahin Tha at Orana Conventions, Gurugram on November 11 at 7PM.

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