31 October, 2020

The Alcazar Of Visual Memory

Alkazi the collector finds a resting place for his art in Delhi

Sanjoy Ghosh
The Alcazar Of Visual Memory

Fast approaching 80, Ebrahim Alkazi, the grand old man variously—and sometimes simultaneously—of Indian theatre, arts and films, is returning to his first love. His Alkazi Foundation for Arts, a unique archive centre that's coming up in Delhi, would bring together his vast collection of Indian art and period photographs that are scattered around his various homes and centres across the world. At four every afternoon whenever he is in Delhi—and that is quite frequently these days—he drops everything he's doing and drives to a nursing home to visit his ailing wife, Roshan. They separated almost 50 years ago when Alkazi took up with a filmmaker's ex-wife but the couple only seems to have grown closer over the years. "I fell in love with her when I saw her for the first time in her brother Sultan Padamsee's play, Salome, where she did the dance of the seven veils," Alkazi recalls fondly. Actually, he fell in love with the whole Padamsee family, especially Sultan, who died, shooting himself in the head when he was only 23....



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