Imtiaz Ali The Hindu auditorium used to be my private space to sleep, think, perform
Imtiaz Ali, a visit to his alma mater – Hindu college – is usually an essential part of his Delhi itinerary. The filmmaker returned to his college after almost three years recently, after he was invited to participate in the Founder’s Day celebrations of Delhi university.
Imtiaz wanted to check out the newly-renovated auditorium of Hindu College, but was also afraid that he would “be (in for) some disappointment, as I have been deeply connected to that place and I always wanted to see it like it was when I was a student there”. But he says that when he did finally see the modified auditorium, he wasn’t “shattered”. “This time, I did not resent the changes made by time; the past is always present,” he further wrote on social media. The filmmaker, who was also the founder of the college’s dramatic society, started his theatre journey in the same auditorium and performed a number of plays there. Reminiscing about his college days, Imtiaz said, “Everything is new and changed now in that auditorium.” Imtiaz continued, “I was most disappointed to find that it was not the same wooden floor where I performed so many plays and spent so much time. When I was in college, the auditorium used to be my private space. Whenever I would want to be in a peaceful corner away from everyone, I would go to that auditorium. I would sit on its wooden floor for hours and think. Even when I would want to sleep during the day, I would sneak backstage of the auditorium and sleep on its floor. I have so many memories attached to that auditorium and that’s what makes it a special place for me.” Talking about the days when he performed in plays here, he said, “I have done many plays in my college’s auditorium and it was always so difficult. Performing in your own college is always difficult as your friends are a very tough audience. They hoot every time they see you on stage, while you are trying to concentrate and give your best. I remember once I was performing a play wherein one of the scenes I had to embrace a girl and my friends started hooting. For some minutes, I kept thinking and hesitating, but then I had to do it. There are so many such memories that run like a flashback in my mind when I think of that auditorium.”