Nepal holds long history of art, culture: Azmi

Shabana Azmi, one of the most acclaimed actresses of Hindi Cinema, has expressed her immense happiness and joy looking at the progress made by Nepali theatre art.

During a meeting with limited journalists on Saturday, the actress who had been to Nepal to participate in the 2nd International Theatre Festival, said that Nepal has a long history of art and culture.

She also appreciated Nepal’s heritage sites and sculptors.

“Art and culture are the catalysts for Nepal, but for some time, Nepali art and culture had slowed down, but now Nepalis are reviving their art and culture,” she said.

She said she was intrigued to visit Nepal after she came to know that Nepal was holding the international theatre festival.

Praising the effort of Mandala Theatre, she said that Mandala Theatre has a great contribution to promote theatre in Nepal.

After the inauguration of the festival on Friday, she watched the play Katha Kasturi.

She said that she was overwhelmed watching the play performed by theatre students just after receiving training of three months. “That was a very ambition project and I really liked it,” she said.

She said that Nepali theatre artistes are doing excellent work.

“Artistes in Nepal are making their own roots, creating their own spaces but in India actors only act, they cannot do anything else, but here the actors are actually making space for themselves to act and this has impressed me a lot,” she said.

She suggested that theatre in Nepal need to create different types of dramas to attract people to the theatre. “If the theatre plays and the movies look same, the audience will choose the cinema, therefore, theatre should be different from cinema,” she added.

“I grew up in the theatre, since I was three years old, my mother used to take me to the Prithvi Theatre in Bombay, and I have been attached to the theater since then.”

Azmi has played a role that was not acceptable in the society. In 1982, she played the role of an independent woman in her film Arth. In the movie, she did the character who can survive without male support which was hard to be digested by the society of that time.

The representation of women in the film industry has, of late, increased, she said. In the 80’s and the 90’s being silent was considered a virtue and that has changed now, she added.

In the 90s, cinema used to portray women as submissive characters, but with the rise of parallel cinema in India, the stereotypical concept of women has been changed. Today, many female artistes are doing good work, she added.

Azmi emphasised that Nepali films should be internationalised. Nepali films are not of international standard. That’s why she has not watched Nepali movies yet. “I have started watching Bangladeshi films as they are of the international standards,” she said.

However, she said she is familiar with Nepali music.

Actress Azmi recalled that she had visited Nepal many times before. She said, “I came here for the first time in 1974 for Ishk Ishk Ishk. I also came to Nepal when I was the ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ of SAARC.”

Azmi has some suggestions for the new generation of Nepal who want to make a future in acting. Good acting should come from within, she said. She believes that to become a good actor there should be a combination of both theater and cinema.

She visited some tourist spots in Kathmandu on Saturday before returning to India on Sunday.

Source : TRN,