Ten years ago, a dream took shape — a dream of creating a solid platform that would enable the best of Indian theatre to take centre stage…culminating in an award ceremony that honoured its varied talents. And, about five months ago, Verve was given the honour of memorialising this decade-long journey with a rich, climactic, all-encompassing book.
We were undeniably also faced with a challenge; one that would require us to not only delve into the archival depths of the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META), but to also do justice to this unparalleled tour de force.
The coffee-table book, now our pride and joy, has already received wonderful support from the theatre community, which served to contribute to the successful execution of the project. The book has a number of articulate, provocative and inspiring essays penned by theatre luminaries like Shabana Azmi, M K Raina and Neelam Mansingh, among others — including an eloquent piece in Hindi, written by the talented Manav Kaul. Not to mention some extremely edifying and enjoyable Q&As with personalities like Mahesh Dattani, Atul Kumar and Sanjna Kapoor.
One of our favourite parts of these interviews (among so many) would have to be Vinay Pathak’s expression of his future goals: “Stay hungry, stay honest, stay hungry, don’t give in, stay hungry, fight mediocrity as much as you can, stay fit, don’t give up the search…and stay hungry.”
All through the creation of this milestone coffee-table book, alongside the wonderful teams at META and Teamwork Arts, we have been inspired by all that we learned about the charmed, multifaceted world of theatre in India. ‘Celebrating 10 Years of Excellence in Theatre in India’ brings to life the behemoth effort behind it all, and introduces you to the award winners, jury members and eminent theatre folk from all over the country.
As the book is revealed today by Shabana Azmi and Girish Karnad, we say, here’s to the next decade!