Curtain Call for Pandit Satyadev Dubey


Pandit Satyadev Dubey

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER  28, 2011           02.30 A.M.

I never ever thought that in the last quarter of 2011 I would be writing so many tributes to the departed stalwarts of the field of art  , music and literature . I have already written obituary on Bhupen Hazarika , Shammi Kapoor , Dev Anand , Mario Miranda and Christopher Hitchens . Obituary of Jagjit Singh and Steve Jobs are half – written and yet to be posted . And now comes the news of the sad demise of Pandit Satyadev Dubey .

Pandit Satyadev Dubey

On December 25 , 2011 , when the world was celebrating birth of Jesus Christ , an eminent theater personality Pandit Satyadev Dubey bid adieu . Curtain finally came down and stage went empty . A stalwart , who bestrode the theatre world of Mumbai for 5 decades , Pandit Satyadev Dubey  finally left the stage at the age of 75 . He was sitting in Prithvi Cafe on September 19 , 2011 , when he slipped into coma and was rushed to the hospital . He never came back .

Born in Bilaspur , Chhattisgarh in 1936 , Dubey ji , as he was fondly called , came to Mumbai to become a cricketer . While studying in St. Xavier’s College Mumbai , he came into contact with Vijay Anand , who introduced him to Ebrahim Alkazi . Thus began Dubey ji’s life – long association with theatre . He also learnt from Marathi theatre guru Parshwanath Aaltekar , who taught him articulation and proper pronunciation . Dubey ji used to lisp in his younger days . Theatre Guru Aaltekar taught him how to overcome this short coming .

Dubey ji in His Younger Days

In his 5 decades long career Pandit Satyadev Dubey produced and directed plays like ; ” Yayati ” and ” Hayavadana ” written by Girish Karnad ; ” Aadhe Adhure ” written by Mohan Rakesh ; ” Gidhade ” , ” Shantata ! Court Chalu Aahe ” and ” Baby ” written by Vijay Tendulkar ; ” Evam Indrajit ” and ” Pagla Ghoda ” written by Badal Sarkar ; ” Raktapushpa ” written by Mahesh Elkunchwar ; ” Savlya ” written by Chetan Datar and ” Antigone ” written by Jean Anouilh . He also staged and directed a play ” Andha Yug “ written by Dharamvir Bharti for radio . He wrote and directed plays like ; ” Sambhog Se Sanyas Tak ” , ” Inshallah ” ” Ada Chautal ” and ” Bramha Vishnu Mahesh “ . In the career span of 50 years , he wrote , produced and directed more than 100 plays in Hindi , Marathi and English .

Apart from stage , his first love , he wrote screenplay and dialogues of films like ; ” Ankur ”  [ Screenplay – Dialogue ]” Nishant ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Bhumika “ [ Screenplay – Dialogue ] , ” Hira Aur Patthar ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Vishwasghat ” [ Screenplay – Dialogue ] , ” Junoon ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Kalyug ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Akrosh ” [ Dialogue ] , ” Vijeta ” [ Story – Screenplay – Dialogue ] and ” Mandi “ [ Screenplay – Dialogue ] .

Poster of Ankur

Poster of Nishant

Poster of Bhumika

Poster of Kalyug

Poster of Mandi

Dubey ji made 2 short films ; ” Aparichay Ka Vindhyachal ” and ” Tongue In Cheek ” .

Apart from staging play and writing scripts for films , he donned the avatar of a trainer and groomed many actors . He believed in natural dialogue delivery and discarded highly theatrical and loud dialogue delivery , which was in vogue before his advent . Amrish Puri , Naseeruddin Shah and Amol Palekar are some of his most famous disciples . Amrish Puri was so indebted to Dubey ji that he would often say that , ” I can leave a film project for Dubey ji’s play , if I ever get a call ” .

A Young Amrish Puri in Dubey ji's Play

Young Naseeruddin Shah

Dubey ji With Ratna Pathak Shah

Naseeruddin Shah & Ratna Pathak Shah in Dubey ji's Last Play "Antigone"

Dubey ji got Madhya Pradesh government’s Shikhar Samman and Kalidas Samman . In 1971 he got prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award . In 2008 Prithvi Theatre paid tribute to him on completion of 50 years in theatre . Dubey ji received Padma Bhushan in January 2011 .

Prithvi Theatre's Tribute to Dubey ji in 2008

Receiving Padma Bhushan by President Pratibha Patil

He won 1978 National Film Award for Best Screenplay for ” Bhumika “ . In 1980 he got Filmfare Award for Best dialogue for ” Junoon ” .

Poster of Bhumika

During his later years he did many workshops for aspiring actors and people nick – named these workshops as NSD [ National school of Dubey ] .

When I first came to Mumbai in 1972 , I went to meet him at Tejpal Auditorium , Grant Road – West . He was busy staging his play ” Aadhe Adhure ” But still gave me time and told me to watch the play . He kindly gave me ticket also . Amrish Puri played main protagonist and if my memory is not failing me , Sulabha Deshpande was the female protagonist . I was stunned to watch their brilliant portrayals . Unfortunately I had to go to Allahabad to complete my post – graduation and lost the opportunity to work with him .

I came again in 1989 and went to meet him at his apartment at Phularani building in Sahitya Sahawas Colony , Bandra  – East . He told me to come to Karnataka Sangh , Matunga and watch his play ; ” Sambhog Se Sanyas Tak ” . Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah were playing the main protagonists . I was simply mesmerized by the sheer brilliance of Dubey ji’s writing and the acting of the main protagonists . I remember that I reached late for the play and was gently reprimanded by Dubey ji for that .

Later on I bumped into him several times at Prithvi Theatre .

He was maverick . He was eccentric . He was controversial . But he was definitely a genius and was dedicated to theatre .

He was a great acting Guru . Very strict , very disciplined and ruthless . I must admit that I imbibed some facets of Dubey ji as an acting trainer . I am strict . I am disciplined and I am ruthless . He loved natural acting and I also try to inculcate this thing in the psyche of my students .

But unlike him , I am not eccentric . I am not a maverick and I don’t use colourful language like him . But I am indebted to him and I openly express my gratitude for imbibing few facets of his personality as an acting trainer .

I won’t say Rest In Peace Dubey ji . It’s a custom to clap when the curtain comes down after a play . I would like to stand up and would love to clap at the final curtain call of Pandit Satyadev Dubey .

Thanks for the lovely plays Dubey ji . You will be sorely missed .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

 

 

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