Late Shri Giresh Desai was an Actor, Model and Theater Director par excellence, Dramatist, Principal of Bhartiya Natya Shikshapeeth Kala Kendra, Philosopher and above all a great humanitarian. Shri Girish Desai, lovingly known as Bhausaheb was a renowned thespian of the Gujarati Theater. But he was active not only on the Gujarati Stage but also on the English, Urdu, Marathi and Hindi Stage.
He had more than 50 plays to his credit as an Actor, Director and Producer and was considered as one of the finest teachers of drama. He was highly respected as he had a great rapport not only with artistes from his generation but also with younger people and new comers. In fact his colleagues saluted him for his contribution to youth theater.
With painstaking effort he re-started the famous Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan – Kala Kendra’s Inter-Collegiate Drama Competition in 1986 in five major languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu and English; in which more than 40 colleges with 80-90 plays participate every year from all over Mumbai.
The event commemorates Bhausaheb’s birth anniversary, which falls on April 1st. It was and is a platform for all aspiring young theater artistes to showcase their talent.
Sir mere liye kya the ye shabdo main likhna ya bayaan karna bahut mushkil hai … phir bhi there are certain things which I would like to write here in this blog.
I first met Sir on the shoot of ‘Asian Paints’ commercial where we both were models.
There was Raveena Tandon playing my bride. if i m not mistaken it was her 2nd or 3rd ad film. The agency was O&M and the director of the ad film was Mr. Govind Nihalani. When I entered the make room of Rajkamal Studio, Parel, I was introduced to a very gentle and smiling person by the name of Mr. Giresh Desai. In the commercial we played father and son and after the completion of the film, the relation which was on screen continued in my real life as well.
During the shoot he gave me lots of tips on acting .. told me about the launching of a acting school which he was starting called Bhartiya Natya Shikhshapeeth Kala Kendra at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.
He told me to join the acting school which I did. I was fortunate to have done a play “Kabira khada bazaar main” which is written by Bhisham Sahani and was directed by him.
I played the character of Emperor Sikandar Lodhi who is curious to know about the religious beliefs of Saint Kabir which was fabulously played by actor Dharmendra Gohil.
Though he is no more but till date, for me Sir is alive and always in my mind and heart. He was a father figure, my friend philosopher and guide.
Even in his anger and scoldings there used be lot of love and encouragement. As a human too .. I feel and think every citizen of this country should aspire to be like him.
He loved and respected all religion. It’s these qualities that has been taught and inculcated in all the students who had the opportunity to learn from him.
For me and for many … Bhau Sahab cannot die .. he could only live and he is still living in all our hearts and minds.
To end this on a note I will just say this that I wish there could be more Giresh Desai’s in this world who had so much love to spread.