Alyque Padamsee passes away: Shabana Azmi, Aditya Hitkari pay tribute

Updated: 18 November, 2018 14:47 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

Alyque Padamsee remained a force to reckon with both in the ad world and Indian theatre

Shabana Azmi,
"Alyque is easily one of the pioneers of English theatre in India. I remember Girish Karnad being delighted with Alyque's handling of Tughlaq, which became a breakthrough point for English theatre. He brought alive large musicals and intimate pieces like Broken Images. He remained a force to reckon with both in the ad world and Indian theatre.

It was wonderful that Alyque had worked with my mother Shaukat Kaifi as the lead in three plays more than 50 years ago and that he was working with me so many years later with the same zest, passion and impatience in Broken Images. I had told him he mustn't shout at me as he was wont to do and he stuck to his word. It was a collaborative exercise and even though there were some differences in the way we saw certain moments, I have to admit that he had a tremendous pulse on the way the audience would react. I really enjoyed working with him and learned a lot about stagecraft from him. Nothing escaped his attention.

I wanted to visit him about a week ago because I knew he was very ill, but I was told he didn't want anyone to see him in the frail condition. It was typical Alyque - proud, dignified, self-respecting."
Snigdha Hasan


AP lives on
Toral Shah,
co-founder Thespo, on behalf of QTP
"Mr Alyque Padamsee equalised the playing field in any room by insisting everyone call him AP. My earliest interactions with him go back to 2002 when he was directing Romeo & Juliet, or what we renamed R&J. Not sure if it was his fascination with acronyms, or his incessant need to be efficient - every moment, every detail would matter. He had no patience for the wishy-washy. Everything had to be precise and could be done better. It was this pursuit of the asymptote of perfection that has stayed with me over the years. If you were working with him, you feared it, but you couldn't help respecting it [the opportunity]. His systems were impeccable. His little red notebooks, unforgettable.

It is difficult to put down in a few lines the lessons he shared with all of us. From the attention he gave when he was talking to each of us to his curiosity and hunger for the new, his joy in meeting and know new people.

He is a legend, not only for the body of work he put out, but for inspiring the younger generations to create new work and find their voice. You live on in our work. And for that gift, thank you."
Snigdha Hasan


'Was first to recruit from biz schools'
Ambi Parameswaran,
brand coach, strategist and founder, former CEO, FCB-Ulka
"He was a giant of a man, who straddled the worlds of advertising and theatre with élan. He was able to bring theatrics into advertising. I recall a time in 1989-90, during an industrial presentation, for which he was hailed across agencies, where he created so much drama. In 1990, when I was set to join Ulka, he wooed me to join Lintas by saying that the former agency was in bad shape. Years later, we were at an event where he spoke favourably of Ulka. I reminded him of the earlier interaction, to which he replied, 'Good, you didn't listen to me.'

I have respect for the way he built a powerful brand like Lintas. He found a balance between the MBA style of thinking and creativity. In fact, he was one of the first to recruit from India's top business schools and encouraged MBAs into the ad industry."
Fiona Fernandez


Only aspire to be you
Derek O'Brien,
parliamentarian, quizmaster, former ad professional
"Goodbye, Alyque Padamsee. RIP. Your big ideas (like the Liril commercial featuring Karen Lunel) will live forever. He had appeared as a guest on the Bournvita Quiz Contest nearly two decades ago."
Fiona Fernandez


'He was just like one of us'
Aditya Hitkari,
theatre person
I WAS quite privileged that the great Alyque Padamsee directed me early in my career in R&J [Romeo and Juliet] staged in the early 2000s. Quasar and I were friends since college, and he was producer of the play. Padamsee always made us feel like he was one of us during rehearsals. His adaptation of Shakespeare's classic was unique and relevant to the time. He would call me 'Romeo' even after, fondly remembering the play that had won him accolades from all over.
Fiona Fernandez

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First Published: 18 November, 2018 08:18 IST

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