Women’s Week exclusive with Arundathi Nag

09:10 AM Mar 01, 2017 | Team Udayavani |

Arundhathi Nag hardly needs an introduction. What she imbibed in her early years has taken the Padmashree award winner where she is today — among the most prominent theatre artist.


Her choice of theatre is a familiar story—language being her forte, as a child, she was selected to act in the school annual play. When she won a consolation prize from Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) at an inter-collegiate competition, she was inching closer to her destination.

“For me theatre is a Sutra, something that came to be magically,” says the 60-year-old with no formal training in theatre, adding, “It has given me reason for my life; it has given me alchemy that allows to absorb information in different ways and lenses through, which I am able to look at everything differently—in new perspectives.” Thanks to her felicity with languages, she has proved to be one of the few, talented multi-lingual (Hindi, Gujarati, Marati, Kannada and English) actors that Indian theatre can be rightly proud of.

According to Nag, it is her passion that keeps her going. “Theatre is the most generous of the arts—where someone like me who has no formal training could reach where I wasn’t to,” she says, pointing out that theatre rules the scene in India. “However, in India everybody thinks that theatre is a very easy medium to practice and therefore we have some mediocre work happening in the name of theatre.” “Only people who do not have a stake in the art are the producers of art in our country, TV art especially. Hence, we have to be more giving, inclusive and careful,” she adds.

Kitchen as an emotional corner


“For me it is a comfort zone. I feel sorry for those who have not yet discovered it. But there is a space in the kitchen, which allows for a lot of peace, quietness and power,” she says. However, she added that a lot of women took to a kind of rebellion or a sense of freedom in saying, “I don’t like it (Kitchen)”.  This is the first time we are finding the middle class women revolting–it was the well-to-do fashion to say: “oh! My daughter doesn’t know how to cook.” Or for a woman to say, “I have never entered a kitchen” – It was a status symbol but not a genuine reaction to a man’s world or to a hierarchy that stipulated that this is what a women needs, she concluded.

By: Nimmy Merlien Philip


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