Anup Soni: If I’m in Delhi, I make sure I visit NSD - Hindustan Times
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Anup Soni: If I’m in Delhi, I make sure I visit NSD

By, Kriti Kambiri
Feb 25, 2024 03:36 PM IST

Actor Anup Soni recently visited his alma mater, National School of Drama, and got filled with nostalgia while sharing his memories from 30 years ago.

Actor Anup Soni, who was recently in Delhi to promote his film Mirg, visited his alma mater, National School of Drama, and got nostalic about his days spent here as a student of theatre. As a young performer then, he faced quite a few challenges in getting skilled in the craft. He shares and much more in a candid chat with HT City.

Actor Anup Soni, on his recent trip to the Capital, revisited his alma mater, National School of Drama.(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
Actor Anup Soni, on his recent trip to the Capital, revisited his alma mater, National School of Drama.(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

Excerpts from the interview:

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Yahan sabse behtareen waqt guzara...

“It’s a pious campus for me, where I’ve spent an excellent time” says the 49-year-old, adding, “Mai agar dilli aaya hun, chahe kitna bhi busy kyun na hun, I make sure I visit this campus once. Yahan maatha tekna hi hota hai (laughs)... I’ve learned a lot from this place, not just as an actor but also as a human being.”

Recalling his days spent in Mandi House, the actor relishes a kachori from the Bengali Market.(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
Recalling his days spent in Mandi House, the actor relishes a kachori from the Bengali Market.(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

‘Eating Kachori After A Long Time!’

Sitting in the enclosure that has been created using pictures of eminent alumni of NSD, Soni relishes a kachori from the nearby Bengali Market, and recalls, “We used to be jealous of our female classmates back then because their hostel was within the campus and we had to every day walk down to our hostel, in the nearby Vakil Lane, after dinner.”

Act One: Ashwatthama!

The actor recalls how he “cleared NSD entrance in the first attempt” and adds, “I can’t believe that it’s already 30 years since I graduated from here... I still remember how everyone saw my potential after seeing me play Ashwatthama in Ram Gopal (Bajaj) sir’s play, Andha Yug. Here I learnt how along with your craft, physical strength is also very important. It was after that, that I began working on my fitness.”

The actor calls the campus a pious place.(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
The actor calls the campus a pious place.(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

Convinced parents for love of theatre

“Idhar maine exams LLB ke diye aur udhar maine NSD ka interview diya. Maine apne parents ko iss logic se convince kiya ki NSD is a government institute and three-year course ke baad government job mil jayegi... That’s how I managed to come here,” says Soni, who graduated from NSD in 1993.

‘Meri photo nahi lagate (laughs)!’

Appreciating how the campus was beautifully decked up, to celebrate the recently concluded Bharat Rang Mahotsav, he stopped wherever he spotted pictures of familiar faces including that of his now mother-in-law, Nadira Babbar, and candidly clicked a photo of hers. “A lot of faces are familiar. Some have been my teachers, some seniors or juniors and some my classmates... But meri photo nahi lagate,” he remarks jokingly, and adds, “I last performed my play in Delhi, it just before the pandemic... Now I’ll be back this March.”

Anup Soni reminisces how he served as the president of NSD's Students Union in 1992. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)
Anup Soni reminisces how he served as the president of NSD's Students Union in 1992. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

Student Union president in ’92

“Third year mein I got to be the president of NSD’s Student Union,” says Soni, pointing his name that’s still inscribed on the board inside a tiny room. He adds, “Humara kaam strike ya ladai-jhagde karana nahi tha (smiles), humara kaam tha creative baatein karna. We’d identify guest faculty and request our director to invite them to come here to hold workshop. Our teachers, Kirti ma’am and all would value that a lot. Lot's of great memories!” 

 

For more, follow @htcity.delhijunction

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Henna Rakheja writes on city, art and culture, for the daily Entertainment & Lifestyle supplement, HT City.

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