For both Seema Bhargava and Manoj Pahwa, theatre has been the life-saver, allowing them to stay afloat when the movies get too cookie-cutter or monotonous. “Theatre keeps you stable and gives you constant practice,” Seema said. “If I could get back after such a long gap, it was due to the fact that I was still in touch because of theatre.”
For Manoj too, the Mumbai stage gave him the escape he sorely needed. He recounts meeting #NaseeruddinShah at a party. Shah had worked with Seema in the 2005 play Katha Collage, and Manoj and Shah had acted together in Being Cyrus in 2006.. “I told Naseer saab, I have a lot of work, but I am not having fun.” Manoj recalled. “He said, let’s do theatre again.”
Shah cast Manoj in some of the plays produced by his theatre group Motley, including Ismat Apa Ke Naam 2 and Aurat Aurat Aurat, both based on stories by Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai. “It is because of god and Naseer that we got theatre practice, which didn’t let us break from within,” Seema said. “We even attend Motley rehearsals sometimes — it’s a blessing for us.”
Theatre helps actors stay within their “aukad” — it never lets them forget their station and remain grounded, Manoj added.
This honesty and humility, honed over years of working in cinema, theatre and television, have given the couple a very clear-eyed view of their considerable achievements.
Caption Courtesy- Scroll.In (Meet Mr and Mrs Pahwa: ‘We have our tuning with each other for 30 years’)