Veteran Bollywood actor Om Puri was overwhelmed by the warm reception he received on his return to his alma mater National School of Drama after 40 years and he says he wants to get back to theatre.
Puri, 64, was welcomed with a resounding applause here yesterday during the inauguration of NSD's 17th Bharat Rang Mahotsav. Recalling his old days on the stage, the National Award-winning actor said the feeling one gets on a theatre stage is unmatchable and he wants to live that time once again.
"I could have cried on the stage. I am grateful to this theatre school for making me what I am today. I feel I should get back to stage. These applauses are like energisers. This kind of reception is addictive.
"Theatre always gives me a high. I plan to now do both films and theatre. Because of movies, I could not do much theatre but now I will be active on stage and do more plays," Puri told reporters here.
The actor's last theatre outing was Punjabi play 'Teri Amrita' two years back. It was an adaptation of 1992 epistolary play 'Tumhari Amrita' featuring Shabana Azmi and late actor Farooq Sheikh.
Puri stressed on the importance of theatre and said it should be expanded on a national level so that stage artistes are able to sustain themselves.
"We need our theatre to become national. Only Marathi and Bengali ones are sustaining and doing well and to some extent Karnataka and Gujarat too. But compared to foreign countries, our theatre lacks
stage craft. We have acting and direction potential but need to work on stage skills," he said.
Puri said he tries to give back to theatre by doing good and substantial films.
"Theatre is like Sanskrit, it is a mother plant. Radio, cinema are its children. It has played a big role in my career. As a pay back, I have done films like 'Ardh Satya', 'Aakrosh'.
"What I wanted to do on stage, I am doing in films in a much more effective manner. Had I been just on stage, the reach would have been less but through films I can reach out to a much bigger audience," Puri said.