Theatre and TV actor Saleem Shah talks about the bond he struck with the University Drama Club while he was at Aligarh Muslim University

I was born and brought up in Aligarh and completed my mechanical engineering from Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). I joined this course because of parental pressure because theatre has always been my first love. While my classmates were only concerned with their assignments I indulged in theatre.

Drama and theatre were my only extra-curricular activities which I loved. I was a part of The University Drama Club during my college days and from 1982-1986 was appointed secretary of the club. Meanwhile I was also connected with the National School of Drama and Sri Ram Centre for Art and Culture, New Delhi. Theatre has always been my first choice. The University Drama club meant a lot to me, however, I have not been in touch with the Club for a while. I was called about four years back for conducting a theatre workshop with AMU students and some other colleges and universities. Back then the Drama club people were not properly acquainted with theatre but now the situation has changed and people know about it and take part in it as well. It is necessary to raise the standard of University Drama Club.There should be a proper faculty for dramatics in AMU, since there are many students who are connected with the Club, but this is only considered as an extra-curricular activity as there is no proper department for promoting this.

Aligarh Muslim University Drama club is a place where there is eminent talent but they do not get exposure like other students who belong to National School of Drama because they impart education through a faculty that specialises in various aspects and kinds of theatre. Dramatics is tough, it needs hard work and for those who fall in love with it, it is necessary to show them a way so that they can find a way to live with their love.