This is an edited excerpt from a talk that Arundhati Nag, the much-fêted actor and the founder of Ranga Shankara, delivered at the DREAM:IN conference yesterday here in Bangalore. Mrs.Nag was one of the key speakers at this conference, which has been put together with the intent of arriving at sustainable and transformational ideas for business, policy, social change and development through the dreams and aspirations of people from across the country (you can also check out http://yourstory.in/entrepreneurs/non-tech-entrepreneurs/5388-yourstory-exclusive-kishore-biyani-ceo-of-future-group-on-what-made-him-a-successful-entrepreneur).For the uninitiated, Ranga Shankara is a world-class theatre facility in Bangalore. As one of the most affordable theatre spaces in India, it is dedicated to the art of theatre. Given below is her response to a question about how Ranga Shankara came into existence.
"Ranga Shankara was the dream of Shankar Nag, one of the most phenomenal theatre artistes of our time and also, my husband. I met Shankar through theatre when I was 17 years old and eventually, I got married to him. So when I moved to Bangalore, it didn't have a venue exclusively for theatre. All the places that hosted theatre performances were also available for other purposes and we thought that this was below the dignity of theatre. It was this that lead to Shankar and I having this mad dream of setting up a space only for theatre. But then, Shankar passed away in a tragic car accident and it took me about 10 years to recover financially and emotionally.
Over this period, I had paid off the debts which had been incurred and I realised that the only way to regain those lost years was to make the dream happen. And frankly, theatre was all that I knew. Even today, apart from cooking and driving, it's the only thing I can do. So, when I started building the theatre, I had no idea that I was going to turn into something so big. I was like the bull that runs the plough through the fields - not aware of the size of the field, but going at it row after row. Today, when I look back, it all seems so strange. Even now, when I walk into the theatre, I'm overwhelmed. That's because I had dreamt about it for so long and it eventually came true. In some sense, when I walk into Ranga Shankara, I'm walking into my dream. When I'm there, I live in my dream."
We at YourStory doff our hat in salute to the tenacity of Arundhati Nag and wish Ranga Shankara much success. To know more about Ranga Shankara, check out http://www.rangashankara.org/. Please note that the DREAM:IN conference where we caught Arundhati is happening here in Bangalore up till tomorrow. For more details, check out http://dreamin.in/. Also, do let us know your thoughts on this story. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Courtesy: http://schnawwlrangashankara.blogspot.com/
Sriram Mohan | YourStory | 18th February 2011 | Bangalore