Thursday 27 November 2014

Cutting Chai with Bhawana Somaaya - Day 488

Set designer Chhel Vayeda no more

There’s nobody in the theatre world whose not familiar with Chhel Vayeda, 79, veteran Art-director (of 'Chhel-Paresh' duo), father of writer director Sanjay Chel, Vayeda expired on 12 November 2014 but his is a fragrance that continues to linger.

 Vayedya started his career as a set designer in 1963-64 and has over the decades designed more than 700 plays in almost all languages that span from the mainstream Khubsurat (1999) to international Train to Pakistan(1996), from the middle of the road Sagar Sarhadi's Lorie (1984) to Amol Palekar's artistic Ankahi (1986). He worked with the best talent on stage and cinema be it AK  Bir's Udiya film Aadi  Mimansa or Ashwini Chaudhary's National award winning film Laado.

For Vaeda no production, no play and no serial was small or big, He extended himself to five generations starting with stalwarts like Kanti Madia, Praveen Joshi, Honey Chhaya, Adi Marzban, Shailesh Dave, Arvind Joshi, Arvind Thakkar, Barjor Patel, Satyadev Dube, Nadira Babbar, Dinesh Thakur, Purushottam Darhvekar , Prabhakar Panshikar  and worked harmoniously with competitive banners be it INT, Natya Sampada, IPTA, Ank and Ekjut.

Chhel was an expert in providing multiple sets with 'Revolving Stage'. He excelled in the Jack Knife Technique where a bungalow turns in to airport, a village house in to Wagha border! Vayedya is the only art designer to put up his sets in all theatres be it Prithvi or NCPA and also the only one whose sets created as much of a stir in foreign countries during their shows abroad.

To be continued...

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

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