Benegal remembers his `stormy friendship` with Satyadev Dubey

Updated: Dec 27, 2011, 13:53 PM IST

Mumbai: Renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal describes his 49-year-long association with late Satyadev Dubey as a "stormy friendship". He says they worked together on six films but after "Mandi" the theatre veteran refused to work with him, though it didn`t affect their personal equation.

"We were very close friends right up to his death on Sunday. In fact, I rushed back from Delhi where I was attending parliament, for his funeral," said Benegal.

"I came to Mumbai in 1959. We were friends from 1962 till his death. We shared a very informal relationship. We could tell each other anything without fear of offending one another. You could call our friendship stormy. I valued his comments. He, I presume, valued mine.

"We worked on six films together, from my earliest `Ankur` to `Mandi` in 1982. He wrote the dialogues for these films and collaborated on the scripts. My threesome of writers were Girish Karnad, Vijay Tendulkar and Satyadev Dubey. That`s how it remained until after `Mandi` Dubey told me he didn`t want to work with me. I said, `Lump it`. And we never worked together again. But this did not affect our personal equation at all," he added.

Benegal says that every time Dubey wrote a play, "he spoke to me about it. What Dubey did for Hindi theatre was pioneering. Before him only Prithviraj Kapoor had done so much for Hindi theatre".

"Dubey`s was an uphill task. He took theatre out of its English-speaking elitist space and made it accessible and affordable for a Hindi-speaking audience. His plays were minimalistic and depended almost entirely on the actors for effect. Which reminds me, a lot of the acting talent that came into my cinema was recommended by Dubey."