AFTER HOURS

To enhance her undying passion she took admission to D G Ruparel College after school, which along with academics is known for its cultural activities. She has always given due priority to her passion and never allowed it to get lost amidst the hustle bustle of life. She got her first commercial play during her post-graduation. She says, “While doing my post-graduation I got my first commercial play,’Baaki-Saara’ which was an adaptation of a well-know play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams.”

She then got associated with the well-known theatre group ‘Awishkar’ in Mumbai. With her talent and urge she earned herself a scholarship during 2003-2005 from the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Department of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi. During these two years she got the golden opportunity to be trained under the guidance of great theatre gurus Shri Chetan Datar, Pt. Satyadev Dubey and Sulbhatai Deshpande.

An established all-round actor, she has trained herself in dance and music as well. As she continued her association with ‘Awishkar’ she got familiar with the different aspects of theatre, as she believes, “Theatre is not just about acting but also about writing, direction, lights, music, sets, makeup, backstage, which altogether makes it complete.”

She has performed at several prestigious theatre festivals all across India. Some of her major plays being Manto – Sarhad se bazar tak, Radha Vaja Ranade, Jungle Mein Mangal, Iraq, Thamb Laxmi Kunku Lavte, Sangeet Bayaa Daar Ugadh, Crossroad, and Chitragoshtee. She has also worked in the feature film ‘Siddarth The Prisoner’ in 2006 and has two recent YouTube short films to her credit - Sapne Wapne and Aarsa.

She has earned several accolades to her name further proving her mettle. She won the Best Actress Award at the Youth Festival 1999 in Marathi Play category; her Play ‘Sangeet Bayaa Daar Ughad’ got nominated at Mahindra Theatre Festival (META) in 2011; she was selected at the ‘Mahindra Has Talent - 2011’ and could perform at Rise Awards 2011; she also got nominated as ‘Best Actress - Experimental Theatre’ at ‘Zee Gaurav Puraskar - 2014’; she has won ‘Best Singer - Third’ at Parle Mahotsav – 2015; and has also won ‘Best Actress’ at Akhil Bhartiya Natya Parishad Play Reading Competition in July 2016.

She believes theatre is a great medium to express and explore oneself, and brings about a lot of positive transformation in a person. On asking why theatre, she says “I was an introvert initially, theatre slowly helped me open up and express. It helped me to explore myself as an individual unleashing both my strong and weak points. It was through theatre that I also realised my liking and talent for singing. Theatre helped me develop a different perspective of looking at things. It gives you a different kind of confidence to deal on the various fronts of life. Theatre enables you to introspect from time to time. Theatre has helped me grow as a person not only in personal and professional life but also on a social front creating a social awareness in me.”

Among all, she highly cherishes the magical experience of being able to live different lives on stage. Sharing her joy she says, “I can transform myself and be someone else even if it is for a little while. I get to live a new life and experience emotions that may or may not have come my way. When you are on stage, you are a completely different person and you have the power to hold people’s attention to you. It helps you release your suppressed emotions, stress, tensions, and heals you in ways beyond imagination.”

On asking about her support system she gave credit to her family specially her father, whom she describes as “one of my big critic but a big supporter”. Apart from ‘Awishkar’, theatre gurus, writers, directors and actor friends, she considers her office bosses, seniors and colleagues as an important pedestal that helps her manage office work and her hobby well.

Recounting the skills that she has acquired from theatre she expounded how she brings it to practise at her workplace. She explained how just like an organisation, theatre also has various departments that complete the function. There are different levels in each department and one has to start the journey with backstage and then move on to perform the main role or grow to be a leader. Skills like focus, planning, pro-activeness, time management, listening, co-operation, communication, innovation, direction, discipline and decision making; are much needed leadership abilities that she could assimilate through theatre. Theatre works as meditation for her, which she believes is one of the necessities in today’s stressful and fast life.

She believes a lot of talented people are not able to pursue and enhance their talent and thus she propagates and suggests that organisations should provide scholarship to employees. She believes such scholarships will not only motivate the employees but benefit to the company as well. Exemplifying the same with her experience she says, “For me or any theatre person in India, performing at META would be an honour, thus such scholarships in art form will definitely motivate employees.”

She has been associated with Mahindra for a long time since childhood as her father was part of the Company for 40 years. She believes Mahindra has given her a different identity apart from just being an employee. She has explored herself with several theatre acts at Mahindra, some of the major once being Hindi comedy skit with HO Accounts and Finance team at Fun Forum, Swaccha Bharat Abhiyan at Mahindra Towers offices and at B D D Chawls, Hindi skit to avoid use of plastic bags with sustainability team at Mahindra Towers, various performances at Founder’s Day Celebrations since last 5 years, and performances at library events at Mahindra Towers.

SHE CONCLUDES, “M&M HAS ALWAYS BEEN A MOTIVATING PLACE FOR A PERFORMER LIKE ME AS I WAS ALWAYS APPRECIATED FOR THEATRE PASSION. M&M HAS ALWAYS GIVEN ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLORE MY IDEAS AND IMPLEMENT THEM AT MAHINDRA’S.”