Ashutosh Rana returns to Delhi stage: I last performed at Kamani in 1994 - Hindustan Times
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Ashutosh Rana returns to Delhi stage: I last performed at Kamani in 1994

ByKriti Kambiri
Jan 27, 2024 03:39 AM IST

Resuming theatre after 30 years, actor Ashutosh Rana is now portraying Ravana. He fondly recalls his student days at NSD, when he was a regular in theatre.

His name became synonymous with villainous characters for his roles in films such as Dushman (1998), Sangharsh (1999) and Mulk (2018). Taking his quest to unravel grey shades further, actor Ashutosh Rana is now portraying the character of Ravana, in a play. This also marks his return to the Delhi stage and theatre after three decades!

Actor Ashutosh Rana has returned to theatre and is performing in Delhi after three decades.(Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)
Actor Ashutosh Rana has returned to theatre and is performing in Delhi after three decades.(Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)

“The last time I performed at Kamani Auditorium in Delhi was in 1994. That was my last production, and I was still studying at the National School of Drama (NSD). Three decades after that, I am now restarting theatre from here. It feels like life has come a full circle,” says Rana, who is in the Capital to perform the play Humare Ram.

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Actor Ashutosh Rana recounts how he'd participate in the local Ramleela in his hometown in MP, but couldn't play Ravana as he was too young at that time. (Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)
Actor Ashutosh Rana recounts how he'd participate in the local Ramleela in his hometown in MP, but couldn't play Ravana as he was too young at that time. (Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)

Incidentally, Rana had always wanted to play the character of king of Lanka. “Humare Gadarwara (Madhya Pradesh) mein Ramleela hoti thi par main kabhi Ravana ka kirdar nahin kar paya because I was very young back then and the character needed maturity. Yeh bachpan ki khwaish ab jaake poori hui hai,” says the actor.

All this talk of drama invoked nostalgia, and Rana couldn’t help but reminisce about his NSD days. “Back then, the thought was that actors who wanted to do cinema were not serious about the craft, and I was told that NSD was not the right place for me... It was 1991,” he shares, adding, “But now that thinking has changed.” During his days as a student at the institution, Rana’s life was all about theatre. “Subah 5.30 se raat ke 12 baje tak bas NSD hi chalta tha. When I recently visited the campus, I saw a lot of change,” he adds.

Ashutosh Rana refers to NSD as his "mother institution" since that's where he learnt stagecraft.(Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)
Ashutosh Rana refers to NSD as his "mother institution" since that's where he learnt stagecraft.(Photo: Raajessh Kashyap/HT)

The Tiger 3 (2023) actor also fondly recalls the food scene around the NSD campus during his time spent as a student of theatre in Delhi. “Humare time pe Tansen Marg mein ek fast food wali bus hua karti thi jahan achha jamavda hua karta tha... NSD ke bahar ek juice centre hua karta tha, ek chai ki dukan hua karti... Ab tasveer badal gayi hai,” he wraps up.

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