A Tale of Two Acting Institutes : FTII & NSD


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           OCTOBER 28 , 2012           01.15 A.M.

I start my blog with salutations to Shri Roshan Taneja , Ex Head of FTII [ Film & Television Institute of India ] and Ebrahim Alkazi , Ex Head of NSD [ National School of Drama ] .

With Shri Roshan Taneja in His Office

With Shri Roshan Taneja in His Office

Then I proceed to submit that apart from above mentioned two giants of Acting Training , I don’t like the present dispensation of these so-called premiere acting institutes of India .

Let me take their case one by one .

NATIONAL SCHOOL OF DRAMA :

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This so-called premiere school boasts of the alumni , which could be the dream of any Acting Trainer of India . This famous theatre training institute was established in 1959 in New Delhi by the Sangeet Natak Akademi . In 1975 it became an independent school .

National School of Drama

National School of Drama (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First batch of NSD was passed out in 1961 . After this Ebrahim Alkazi took over the reigns and helmed the affair of the school from 1962 to 1977 . It was the golden period of NSD .

In 2008 , though the NSD celebrated its Golden Jubilee , but the shine  , the sheen had gone . I fail to understand the attitude of the present day students of NSD . They think that since they have done an acting course from NSD , so the whole world should invariably acknowledge their eminence . They behave as if whole universe is indebted to them because they have done two years training in NSD . Their immortal arrogance precede their mortal body . This is precisely the reason that they are not very successful in Hindi Film Industry .

FILM & TELEVISION INSTITUTE OF INDIA :

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This premier film acting institute was established in 1960 by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting , Government of India . The present campus is situated in the holy precincts of erstwhile Prabhat Film Company , Pune .

Notable alumni

I do agree that this an enviable list . Any Acting Trainer of India can die for such illustrious students . But what is the present condition ? Why this institute is unable to churn such illustrious students any more ? What happened after Shri Roshan Taneja’s departure ?

Can any one answer ? NSD and FTII were successful with enviable record during the tenure of Shri Ebrahim Alkazi and Shri Roshan Taneja respectively . After their departure mediocrity started ruling and these glorious institutions became just buildings , just structures .

Great institutions are governed by great minds , giant personalities . They can’t be run by upstarts and dwarfs . I can’t comment much about NSD but I know the root cause of the deterioration and subsequent demise of FTII . After departure of Shri Roshan Taneja , every Tom , Dick & Harry rushed to FTII and became Acting Trainers . In front of 10 / 20 captive students they proclaimed themselves as the incarnation of Constantin Stanislavski . People managing the affairs of FTII had and have no vision . They employed every wannabe , every upstart , every so-called veteran actors as Acting Coach and these frustrated Dilip Kumars and Amitabh Bachchans ruined the great FTII .

The decadence is apparent , degeneration is palpable and death is imminent . I have one student in the current batch of Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , who has completed two years acting course from FTII . She is beautiful and is definitely talented . But because of wrong training , she is struggling in my class . She is not at fault . Fault lies at the door of their trainers , who proclaim themselves as the reincarnation of Constantin Stanislavski and dish out half – baked knowledge . It never happened during the tenure of Shri Roshan Taneja .

Is there any remedy ? Will these two institutes be able to come out of ICU ? Can there be another Ebrahim Alkazi and Roshan Taneja ?

On behalf of myself and on behalf of all the students of Vidur’s Kreating Charakters and whole family of Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I pray to the almighty for the long life of NSD and FTII ! May the future be more glorious and shining than the illustrious past !

[ List of the alumni of FTII is taken from Wikipedia . I express my gratitude . ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

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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