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London's Nehru Centre bids
farewell to Girish Karnad
June 03, 2003 11:00 IST
Author, playwright, actor, producer and director Girish Karnad was given touching and memorable farewell in London on Monday night as he laid down office as director of the Nehru Centre after a 'fruitful' stint of over three years.
Literally the Who's Who of London's cultural and film society were present at a dinner hosted by Indian High Commissioner Ronen Sen to say goodbye to Karnad who had made the Nehru Centre the hotbed of Indian cultural activity.
Present on the occasion were Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan with his wife and son, Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, film producer Shekar Kapoor and his wife, film actor Kabir Bedi and his wife Nikki, writer Vikram Seth and veteran journalist Sir Mark Tully.
Speaking on the occasion, Sen described Karnad as a multi-faceted personality who has also acted successfully as a cultural diplomat.
"He has done a tremendous amount of work and has widened the contacts at the Centre and enriched it with his personality.
We are very sorry to see him go and we are more sorry for his successor as it will be very difficult to emulate him."
As a surprise gift on the occasion, Vikram Seth presented an art work by Manish Kapoor and Shekar Kapoor read out a favourite poem of Karnad by Poet Ramanujam.
In his reply, Karnad said he was overwhelmed by the love and affection. He said though he was initially reluctant to take up the assignment, "It has been a terrific experience and a very creative one."
"The three years have been the most interesting period in my life," he said adding during last year there were 200 events in ten months at the Nehru Centre.
Asked what he proposed to do on his return to Bangalore, Karnad said: "I never plan in my life.""I'm sure I have absorbed something from the close to 300 plays and films I have seen here. What shape these ideas will take is something for the future."