Life in Theatre for Master Fida Hussain
After leaving the New Alfred in 1932, Hussain worked with several big and small companies in Ajmer, Lahore, Indore, and Kolkata. He recorded music for His Master's Voice, Kolkata, and experimented with forming his own troupes. In 1939, his moving rendition of the devotee Narsi Mehta in the eponymous play inspired the Hindu guru, the Sankaracharya, to confer the title 'Narsi' on him, which he proudly used throughout his life. He performed many spiritual roles subsequently. In 1948, he took charge of the Moonlight Theatre, Kolkata. He directed and acted the lead there for the next twenty years there. His histrionic skill, strong physique, and powerful singing made him immensely popular over a long career spanning about 300 highly successful productions, including memorable performances in plays such as Talib's Nal-Damayanti i.e. 'Nala and Damayanti', and Hashrs Yahndi ki ladki i.e. "Jew's Daughter", Khubsurat bala i.e. "Beautiful Trouble", and Sita vanvas i.e. "Sita's Forest Exile". Vir Abhimanyu i.e. "Heroic Abhimanyu", Narsi Mehta, Chaltapurza i.e. "Clever Fellow", and Parivartan i.e. Change each ran for over 1000 shows. He also acted in some films. Fida Hussain retired to Moradabad in 1968. During the last decades of his life, as the only surviving representative of a form that had disappeared, he was frequently consulted or interviewed by students and historians of Indian theatre. For several years, he lectured, held workshops, and directed student productions at the National School of Drama.
This scholarly person died in the year of 1999.