Theatre more interesting than films, says Gulzar

Mumbai, April 19 (IANS) Besides writing lyrics and screenplays, Gulzar has also penned several plays like “Kharashein” and “Arey O Henry”, and says theatre is more interesting as you get “audiences’ instant reaction” and have scope to “rectify mistakes”.

“Theatre is a very beautiful and interesting medium because it’s a live show, unlike a film – once released, it’s gone,” said the veteran who has also written other plays – “Lakeerein” and “Atthaniyaan” – to name a few.

The 79-year-old was speaking Friday, when his new play “Paansa” was showcased at the Prithvi Theatre.

“In films, there is no scope to rectify any mistake… but in theatre, you can rectify it the next day,” added the prolific writer who also wrote script for his directorial venture “Maachis” apart from penning songs like “Mera gora ang lai le”, “Musafir hoon yaron”, “Mera kuchh samaan” and item song “Kajrare”.

Talking about the theatre audience, Gulzar said, “They give you instant response”.

Earlier titled “Draupadi”, the play was renamed “Paansa”. It is about a particular moment in “Mahabharata” when Arjun, Bhim, Nakul and Sahdev die after drinking poisonous water. Yudhishthir, the eldest Pandav, is then asked to answer a few question to bring his bothers back to life.

“Paansa” is an adaptation of author Pavan K. Varma’s English poem “Yudhishthir and Draupadi”, and Gulzar said: “I translated that book (poem) and I realised that just like we have been reading ‘Paradise Lost’ in our courses, why don’t such books came out that are from our own culture and mythologies? So, that’s why it was translated in Hindi.”

Through the play, Gulzar and theatre veteran Salim Arif have explored the world of musical.

Gulzar said that “after the book was published in Hindi, I was not satisfied as I felt that there is still much more that needed to be told”.

The Padma Bhushan awardee always had a wish to adopt Varma’s poem into a musical play.

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