Updated: May 5
Be it an adaptation of Shakespeare or reincarnating history on stage, theatre connoisseurs have feasted for decades on this man’s creativity. If theatre is seen today as a medium of societal change, the fulcrum to bring it forth has been founder of Asmita Theatre group, Mr. Arvind Gaur. Arvind is not our traditional street play theatre pioneer but one who was led to his chosen path by destiny. Trained as an electric engineer, he dabbled with theatre by chance while associated with Delhi Public Library drama group (DPL). He had an urge to communicate his thoughts and worked as a journalist with Navbharat Times and PTI. His arrival to theatre was marked with him receiving a research fellowship awarded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (India) (1997–98).
At this point he also worked with slum children and labourers to train them to act in theatre and street plays with workshops. 'Videshi Aya' was his debutant popular play that he directed and acted in, this set the ball rolling for him never to look back. Simultaneously he dabbled in television direction and programming a bit but missed his 'love at first sight - theatre'. He did a theatre comeback to direct many memorable plays from book adaptations by popular playwrights that included theatre magnates like Girish Karnad, Vijay Tendulkar,Bhishm Sahni, Dharamvir Bharti, and Gulzaar. He staged works of celebrated English authors like Dario Fo, Eugiene O’neill, and William Shakespeare also through his plays.
Theatre as a tool to showcase contemporary socio-political issues incepted the seed for 'Asmita theatre group' in 1993. Today it is India’s most loved theatre group and has staged more than 100 different plays. For Arvind, Asmita became a vehicle to bring in social awareness on many relevant contemporary issues shoved under the carpet for centuries. Arvind Gaur has highlighted many sensitive women-oriented subjects like Rape, Domestic Violence; pay disparity, marital problems etc. via his street plays to generate awareness about these colossal social problems amongst masses. Two of his power packed shows 'MARD' and' DASTAK' that focused on 'women' were staged in mega event of Pinkishe Foundation 'NAARI-2019' which was loved and appreciated by one and all in the audience.
DASTAK, a street play showcases the clichés rampant in contemporary Indian society especially with respect to rape and molestation, it is aimed at creating awareness about these burning issues in parallel questioning the current trend of victim blaming/ shaming that is deeply rooted in our society, highlighting the social conditioning that girls are rubbed with right from childhood to protect herself by modestly dressing and being on guard versus how we bring up our boys.
MARD, another masterpiece is currently being staged in every nook and corner of the country. It deals with the gender equality issue and focuses on social dichotomy prevalent even in 21st century India making women second class citizens in the name of tradition and culture like men being the protector and guardian to women in different roles of father, brother, husband or son.
As a theatre director, he has collaborated widely and staged his works in theatre festivals globally, special mention of some events in countries like Armenia, France & Russia, USA, UK, Australia, UAE are notable. Asmita has conducted many theatre workshops and performed in various Universities, Colleges, Schools and Institutions in India to sensitize Indian youth towards these ailing double standards in our social set up.
Arvind Gaur has mentored many a new talents and has introduced numerous people to theatre and cinema having trained them holistically in all aspects of acting. Rashi Bunny, an internationally trained theatre artist debuted in India with her solo performance under the flagship of Arvind Gaur's directorial venture ‘Madhavi’. This travelled all over the world. Bollywood stars Kangana Ranaut, Deepak Dobriyal, Manu Rishi, Shilpa Shukla, Tillotama Shome, Seema Azmi, Ishwak Singh, Bajrang Bali Singh, Gaurav Mishra, Suraj Singh to name a few credit their mentor Arvind Gaur for their mega success. He has also collaborated with and directed theatre personalities like Mallika Sarabhai, Piyush Mishra, Rashi Bunny, Lushin Dubey, Bubbles Sabharwal etc. He also trained many Bollywood stars including Sonam Kapoor for her super hit film Raanjhana.
Arvind untiringly prepares the next gen theatre artists by conducting workshops for children under the banner of Asmita Theatre group in various cities.
Arvind has won many awards and accolades in India and abroad. He is a highly decorated theatre icon today.
Bringing majestic characters, magnanimous write ups and metropolitan issues to the forefront of society through various stage performances is Arvind's Forte. Team Pinkishe is proud to have been associated with him in the most humble way. We wish Arvind Gaur and Asmita loads of best wishes for their future endeavours and applaud his unflinching efforts of making women folk an equal participant alongside men in Indian ecosystem.