Shernaz Patel reflects on the legacy of Shashi Kapoor
Shashi uncle built this vibrant space for us; for the generation before me and the generations that have come after. Prithvi is symbolic of theatre in the city. It is hugely iconic and built in the best possible way because it’s a space that is democratic, and embraces everyone who does theatre; a space where people can watch affordable, good quality theatre. Regardless of the ups and downs of the economy, it goes on, 365 days a year.
It has given an opportunity to so many people, including us, to do regular theatre in the city. Without Shashi uncle and Jennifer, none of this would have existed. It’s beyond words what they have done for all of us, which continues. He started [his career] in theatre, met his wife here and he was one of the extremely few people who continued to contribute to, and understood the importance of the live medium of theatre. He was a huge superstar when [he founded Prithvi] and he ploughed his money into Prithvi to keep it alive.
I think my first meeting with him was just like an adoring fan. He had a special place in the theatre from where he watched the plays – the little space between two sets of stairs leading to the upper and lower seats. You are obviously very nervous when Shashi Kapoor is watching the show, and when he had an encouraging word to say after, it was massive.
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