Gauri Gupta renowned as an accomplished theatre artist, playwright, producer and director has several avatars. Proficient in many languages, seamlessly blending in different cultures, the seemingly effortlessly elegant Gauri, approaches all her projects with the intensity of a Mumbaikar, the scholarly and artistic creativity of a Bengali and the sophisticated warmth, charm and courtesy of a native Lucknowi.
Daughter of a civil servant father and an artiste mother, Gauri has lived in various parts of India, absorbing all cultural influences that make her truly Pan Indian. Theirs was a home that would house visiting musicians, poets and dancers. All day baithaks and classical mehfils were the norm at her parental home. It is no wonder that Gauri’s home in Singapore, fondly described as the Gupt Kalakshetra continues this tradition of keeping an open house to encourage artistic expressions by professionals and amateurs alike.
Being creatively inclined, Gauri did not follow the family tradition of civil service and chose instead to explore the unknown path into the media world. She joined the advertising industry and fulfilled her passion for theatre by acting in popular television series.
She married her college sweetheart, Amit, just as he graduated from business school, without even a job in hand – so confident was this young couple that material possessions would follow and that love would conquer all. Gauri soon immersed herself in domesticity and motherhood but the strong creative urge saw her walk the tight rope of a freelance media career as she raised her three daughters.
“It was when I had twins that I realized we have more within us than we think we do. I developed a few more invisible arms and sprouted a few more heads to cope with all that I had to do,” recalls Gauri.
With two year old twins and a six year old, she went on to script and shoot an award winning documentary. Just as she was on the brink of returning to a full time career, the family moved to Singapore.
In Singapore, as a trailing spouse, Gauri tried to enter the hallowed halls of the advertising world without much success. However she took rejection in her stride. Creativity pulsated in her veins and writing came to her easily and naturally; so Gauri cheerfully started doing pro-bono work for children’s groups, charity institutions and schools. Her talent was soon discovered, her communication and marketing skills were sought by many prestigious institutions such as National Heritage Board, National Parks, Zee TV Asia etc who were now willing to pay her top professional fees for her services. Gauri today has several credits for corporate films, brochures, documentaries and other communication mediums under her belt.
In recent years, Gauri’s plays have been in the public spotlight. Her plays weave a social theme and prey on the social conscience of the audience long after they are over. Gauri tackled the issue of integration between “old Indians” and “new Indians” with a rare wit and sensitivity that forced the audience to honestly reflect on their biases and perceptions, in her play “We are like this only” which was a runaway success. “Rojak” brought the issues of migrant workers into public focus and was inspired by the story of her own domestic helper. In “Dhara”, Gauri delved into her own background as she told a beautiful tale set against the banks of Ganga. Her new play “The Dance of the Birds” is being eagerly awaited by a keen audience in Singapore.
Music and art have remained two of Gauri’s beloved and lifelong passions. She has been an ardent student of classical music and has also been the culture critique for the Tabla newspaper for some years. Art has always been a driving force in her life and contrary to popular belief, Gauri is a fairly private person who is never happier than telling stories through her emotive paintings that have been displayed and appreciated at high profile exhibitions.
Gauri’s impressive archive of work is a testament to a life devoted and dedicated to the powerful medium of music, art, dance, culture and theatre.