Chottu of Jammu stage

Mohd Yaseen

Even in his wildest of the dreams, Sanjeev never thought he’ll become an actor and serve the state with his acting skills. The exceptionally talented, Sanjeev Gupta made everyone spellbound with his top-notch acting skills, the moment he stepped into the theatre of dreams. A face which is recognised by many and even got national recognition in the field of theatre direction in the year 2007 when he was bestowed with Yuva Bismillah Khan Award. Serving as a Cultural Officer in J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages and a proud student of Punjab University was born in 1973 to Krishna Gupta and Yograj Gupta. He inclined towards the field of theatre three decades back when he was studying in class 11th and used to bunk classes every day. One day while jumping the wall of the school, he saw a poster where he found ‘Are you interested in acting……! Why wait and get late?’ He says “I wrote the address on my hand and started looking for the place where acting classes were given. Finally, I reached to this place, Natrang which was headed by Balwant Thakur. The ambience inside was out of the world, I was completely awestruck, the devotion and dedication of the people working there brought me even more and since then, I have been driven towards my goal and started showing my acting skills and founded myself secured in the field of theatre acting. After that I have been involved in theatre thoroughly and luckily got the opportunity to get training from the big guns of Indian theatre.”
A man who always enlivened the stage with his acting skills whether it is comedy or serious was inspired by his mother and father. His mother has helped him in becoming a better singer and his father has always believed that one day he will become an actor. ”I was the naughtiest kid between the two siblings,” says Sanjeev.
Sanjeev Gupta has done his Bachelor degree in Music (Classical) from University of Jammu as his mother wanted him to persue music. For further studies, he went to Punjab University from where he did his Masters in Dramatics. Coming back to Jammu, Sanjeev Gupta directed more than 25 plays like Comedy of Terrors, Ek Tha Gadha Urf Alladad Khan and many more. His plays have already been showcased in National Theatre Festivals which include Jashne-Bachpan organised by National School of Drama, Rang Pratibha organised by Sangeet Natak Akademi. A pompous participant of Body Language Workshop organised by Ford Foundation, as an actor he’s been involved in many plays at National level. Until now he has participated in more than 100 National and International Theatre festival and has received accolades from the experts and audiences.
While speaking to one of the senior most artists of the State Suresh Kumar, he shares Jammu is the place where people are not applauded for their contribution in the art and drama field, but Sanjeev has set an example that nothing is impossible for anyone when you have passion and enthusiasm regarding your work. I still remember the day when Sanjeev was just a kid and we used to call him a ‘Chottu’ and today that chottu has become a missile of Jammu stage. As a director, his play ‘Comedy of Terrors’ gave me the goose bumps when he experimented the two characters ‘Shaliq Ram’ and ‘Bidla’ played by one actor. His creativity and his work will be remembered for years to come.
Aziz Hajini, Secretary of J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages says, ”JKAACL has a gem, Sanjeev Gupta. He is a thorough professional who is working nicely for JKAACL. I can also say when I used to give him assignments he would do them distinctively and keeping all these things in my mind I gave him the most important charge of SOCA of Sub Office of Kathua. Moreover, after seeing the enthusiasm and passion towards his work, my inner voice said to me to empower Sanjeev and I am putting best of efforts to strengthen him in all the assignments.”
”Our motherland made us what we are today, but what have we done in return? The question always comes in my mind. I am trying to promote my own land with my work and I always take my work as my first priority whether it is administration or my passion of theatre. I always try to promote my level of perfection and with the humble support of my office staff and theatre colleagues I am doing my work like I am worshipping. Theatre is my passion and work is my life and if theatre has given me the fame, my work has made me a good administrator,” said Sanjeev Gupta.
Theatre, which is not considered as a profession by many, are yet to meet this versatile actor who has brought laurels to the motherland with his nationally acclaimed plays. Sanjeev Gupta, is considered as a gem of an actor and is a role model for many, for his contribution to the regional theatre, his name will never be forgotten.
Balwant Thakur, one of the most celebrated theatre director of Indian theatre while putting his views on Sanjeev Gupta shares ‘I find Sanjeev Gupta being very fortunate for the reason that he is pursuing a profession which is his passion. Born to live and die as an artist, Sanjeev got an opportunity to serve as an artist and arts administrator. In our country, we hardly have few artists who are managing the affairs of arts. This way you not only live your passion but also serve the purpose of arts to a greater extent. Sanjeev over the years excelled himself as an artist and as a cultural administrator and I wish all the artists to have the similar fate in the larger interest of the well being of arts in this country’.