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Memorable secrets of performance in theatre!
I have stayed in the city beautiful - Chandigarh - for several years and being in prime youth, had enjoyed the various exposures at different levels - in office, while working with the juniors and seniors and in theatre, enjoying the company of stage artists.

Theatre is now a day outdated despite the fact that most of the Bollywood actors have come from the stage, but, it is still alive in certain cities like Chandigarh, Delhi and Shimla.

Both these places have different world to support each other. While you are tired after working throughout the day and sometime late in the evening depending on the circumstances but it is very enjoyable to participate in the theatre and perform at the stage before the hall-packed audiences.

Theatre is a very different world to show your talent by performing in different characters as per the demand of the scripts. But at the same time, it is fun to be in a character, which you are not and showing your ability to perform so that none from the audience could judge that you are not in the real character, which you are performing at the stage.

Anyhow, theatre is different from working in movies where re-takes are possible and now working in Bollywood if once you get a chance, is not that difficult with so advanced technology of make-up and voice over facilities even after giving shots. But while delivering on stage, it is a one time show and you have to be well prepared before appearing on the stage so far as the script is concerned, besides ready for taking any spontaneous decision, when the script is out of your mind.

I had never been to any schooling for doing theatre but one of my colleagues, Mr. Lakhi, who had directed number of successful plays, polished the hidden talent in me and I could perform more than 15 plays in Hindi and Punjabi at Tagore Theatre, during my eleven years stay in Chandigarh i.e. 1976 to 1986. Not only this, even after four decades, I still remember certain scripts of the play and speak sometime in the same tone, which I successfully performed on the stage.

Among lot of memories, certain incidents are still alive which I had enjoyed while associating with the theatre groups. The success of the play depends on the live performance by the characters as to how nicely the actors have been trained by the director besides the selection of the script.

I remember whenever the scrip of the play is finalized the first thing the director has to choose a cast and everyone is interested to play a major role of hero, heroine or villain. I used to be different from all, to accept a role, not acceptable to anyone. 

Once, I accepted with a challenge to accept the role of a Postman - who has entry on the stage for even less than two minutes - to establish the character. I remember that I made my entry on the stage with moving of my left shoulder with every word while delivering the letter to a lady in the play. To my surprise, the character was established to the extent that after the finish of the play, all known congratulated for my short role on the stage with a specific movement of their shoulder again and again, which I performed at the stage.

Let me also share one more incident and secret of the play in those days when the character had to remember the figures. In another play, one of the lady characters forgot the figure of chapatis to say she is fed up from cooking for all the eight members of the family during the year. Then, someone from the audience uttered in high-tone voice, 'zameen te likhiya hoya padh le' - it is written on the floor of the stage, read it.  Then, she spontaneously covered it saying, 'Han Han, 23,360 chapatian pka pka ke thak gayi han' - Yes, Yes, I am tired by cooking 23,360 chapatis'.  

Perhaps, he knew the secrets of the theatre that whenever there is odd figure and difficult to remember, the same is written with the chalk on the floor of the stage before the start of the performance.

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