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A lasting relationship

RAISING THE BAR Himani Shivpuri  

“The most challenging part of being an actor is that every time you play a character, you have to start from ground zero. The best part is that you get to live so many lives through your characters,” says Himani Shivpuri, veteran actress, while succinctly summing up her memorable innings in both films and television.

Known for her supporting roles in films and Hindi soap operas, the actress has demonstrated that she has calibre to do justice to any role assigned to her. Yet it is theatre that is her first love. She recently won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to theatre. “Winning and getting honoured from the President of India with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award was the proudest moment of my life. From the first day of my admission in NSD, it was my dream to win the Sangeet Natak Akademi award,” says Shivpuri who was in the city for Yeh Hai Lollipop. Here she talks about her first love and why she refused Hum Log.

Excerpts from an interview:

How has been your journey from Dehradun to Delhi and then Mumbai?

Well, my journey had been very interesting and satisfying. I have seen good times and bad times, struggle and success. It all started when I came to Delhi from Dehradun to learn theatre. There only I developed the passion for acting and stayed for almost ten years. Then serials happened and I decided to play famous character called Devki Bhaujai. Later I did movies with Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and then Pardes making impact.

Share your experience at the National School of Drama.

We used to breathe theatre. We used to designcostumes, install lights and then act. We were studying and applying all the theoretical knowledge simultaneously . The passion for theatre is still alive. The way you don’t forget your first love similarly I haven’t forgotten theatre practice.

So why did you leave Hum Log?

Director Manohar Shyam Joshi offered me the show and asked me to leave the theatre It was impossible for me to leave theatre as it was my passion. After some time there was another director who was writing Humraahi in which an actress was required for the character of Devki Bhujaai. Many thought that I would refuse it too. I didn’t and the character became so popular that I started getting calls from filmmakers.

How do you see your Bollywood career?

Well, I started my career in the 90s, and I was fortunate to be part of an era of family films where I was part of Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham. All of them turned out to be some of the biggest hits but also memorable films of Hindi cinema.

Do you get creative satisfaction in roles of aunts and mothers?

See, I have done many roles of buas, aunties and negative roles. I believe that an artist should not be concerned with the length of the character. In Vaastav, I had only two scenes but they were mind blowing and so did in Anjaam. I think an actor, should look for a good role irrespective of its length.

Which is the most satisfying medium of acting?

Of course, I love theatre and used to enjoy movies as well. But if you see daily soaps, they are very time constrained which make them very hectic and less satisfying. Serials are for money, movies are for eternity and theatre is for self- satisfaction.

How do you contribute to society?

I believe that if you are fortunate enough to achieve something in your life, it is your duty to give back to society. So, whenever I see these children without shoes I feel it’s my duty to give them something. It’s passion for arts that drives me to teach youngsters in the Mumbai University . I go back to my home town Dehradun and do workshops free of cost just to give something to society.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 7:20:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/A-lasting-relationship/article16441791.ece

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