There aren’t many in Bollywood who balance theatre with cinema. Divya Dutta certainly belongs to the minority. And the versatile actress’ dedication to the stage took a giant leap when Shabana Azmi showed up for her recent play in Mumbai.
Divya Dutta and Om Puri were staging Teri Amrita, which is the Punjabi version of the cult play Tumhari Amrita. Shabana Azmi and Farooq Sheikh portrayed the original roles in its Hindi version. Divya, who is essaying Shabana’s character, happens to be the senior actress’ fan and was more than just happy to have her in the audience.
“She had her own play going on in Hyderabad and yet she went out of her way to be here for me. After the act, she later came on stage and gave me a tight hug. For someone whom I have always looked up to, it was a high. I’m simply grateful for this kind gesture,” adds the 35-year-old.
Last seen in Zilla Ghaziabad, Divya is currently shooting for Sonam Nair’s forthcoming coming-of-age film. However, the actress is determined to carry on with her theatre work and doesn’t mind travelling around with her play.
The dimpled actress says, “So far we’ve been receiving encouraging response. I’m keen on the upcoming shows in India as well as abroad.”
Just play along
Tumhari Amrita was first directed by Feroz Abbas Khan and its Hindi/Urdu version was created by Javed Siddiqui in 1992. After several shows across India, Europe, US and Pakistan, it completed two decades of run last year.
About an unrequited love, the play is read out through reams of love letters exchanged between the two lead characters — Amrita Nigam and Zulfikar Haider — portrayed by Shabana Azmi and Farooq Sheikh. Its Punjabi version is directed by Om Puri.