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Sunday, July 5, 2020

No shoulders to cry on!


RAJU KUMAR | Issue Dated: February 22, 2009
Tags : fabled thespian | Habib Tanvir | Monica Mishra | Heroine | unique love story | New Theatre movement | life story | autobiography | Alps restaurant | Connaught Place | inseparable | disconsolate | litterateur Kamla Prasad | marketability of relationships | Raju Kumar |
No shoulders to cry on! Never can fabled thespian Habib Tanvir recollect anything from his past without Monica Mishra seeping into the conversation. Heroine of a unique love story, she is no longer there in her body but her memory graces anyone involved with the New Theatre movement. Tanvir is at the moment writing his life story, and needles to say, Monica is there in every page. She is not in the 'past' in this autobiography, she is just there.

They had first met in Delhi when Tanvir had just returned from a tour abroad. Monica had been removed from the position of a director of one troupe. Her impression was that Tanvir’s hand was behind this. And she was terribly upset with that. Tanvir wanted to dispel this notion and first met Monica at the Alps restaurant in Connaught Place. Those meetings went on for weeks, till they realised that they were hopelessly in love. Since then, Monica became an inseperable part of the life and work of Habib Tanvir. And when she died, Tanvir remained disconsolate for months on end. Says litterateur Kamla Prasad: “There was no sense of caste, creed or religion in Tanvir. He lived his love life fully.”

Tanvir says: “In this era of marketability of relationships, the meaning of the word ‘love’ has changed horribly. True love doesn’t happen easily now. Monica was not just my life partner, she was an integral part of my work. New Theatre seems empty without her. Whenever I would be distressed, she would be too, and I could cry on her shoulder. Now whose shoulders do I cry on?"
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017