Padma Shree Niranjan Goswami, Mime Artist

Multi-award winning pantomime artist Padma Shree Niranjan Goswami has been a pioneer in bringing the art of mime to India. He is today instrumental in successfully developing the art of mime and elevating its status of an independent art form in India. He founded the Indian Mime Theatre in 1976, and through it, has been working for social causes like women empowerment, child development, vocational training for the rural and unemployed youth etc. He received the prestigious Padma Shree award in 2009, presented by the President of India.
As he continues to make a positive difference to people in need,  Niranjan took some time out to chat with Of Indian Origin.
What would you be doing if you were not talking to us right now?
I am writing a book on Art of Mukabhinaya, Mukabhinetar Prastuti (Mime actor prepares) so either I would have be writing or reading. I love music, so would have listened to Rabindrasangeet or old classics.
Are you as quiet off-stage, as you are on it?
No, not at all. I love teaching and a teacher cannot remain quiet or silent. Rather, I talk so much that my wife says that I compensate the quantum of silence on stage when I am off stage.
How did you get into mime? Surely it wouldn’t have been a popular choice then…
I get into mime accidentally …I got my first exposure to mime when I was in school. I liked it and I tried to copy few of these and performed in front of kids…they liked it. Later on, I performed in a cultural programme organized by one local club and received appreciation. One of the seniors members of the club realized my potential and advised me to get a serious training in the field. This encouragement helped me gradually grow into a mime artist. Later in 1976, I became the first person in our country to receive Young Talent Scholarship from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and that is the time when I decided to take mime as my profession…..


A mime artist captures in their mind things that otherwise go unnoticed. What is the one thing you wish normal people would take more notice of?
There are lots of incidents happening around us all the time that can make us smile, that can make us happy in our stressful lives. I want normal people to take notice of such tiny moments of joy and happiness.
Why do you think the art of mime is not as popular in India as it is in Europe?
This is a myth which is not true. There are many individual artists and groups in almost every state in our country who are doing good work. Though the mime festival was organized by us but now a number of such festivals are being organized by different mime groups at different states in India. It would not have been possible if Mime was not popular in India.
You are the first person in India to direct full-fledged plays in mime. Do you think there will be many more who will follow?
Though I may sound a bit proud but I feel happy to say that I have been able to influence few mime artists/groups with my work and my training in different parts in our country. They are doing good work experimenting successfully with this art form.

Do you see a growth in the interest of the people in India towards mime., especially amongst youth?
Of course! The interest about mime has been increasing particularly amongst youth. Mime is the basics of all abhinaya (Acting). So anyone interested in acting learn mime to learn about the nuances of expression and make their body more supple and expressive.
In UNIFEST (Inter University Festival) mime now comes under a separate category in regional and national level competition, numbers of youths are taking part in this competition is increasing every year.
Mime workshops are organised in different states all over India where youths in great number are taking part. Apart from this, students of management courses are taking part in mime workshop to learn about body language, to develop team spirit and personality.
You work with hearing-impaired children. How is the experience working with them?
I have a very enjoyable experience working with hearing challenged persons. I have learnt many things from them while working with them at the same time. At Indian Mime Theatre we have regular training programme specially designed for them; organised state and national level mime workshop for them. Wherever I go, if there are any hearing challenged people, I give special demonstration for them. I have a number of students who have received National Young Talent Scholarships, Junior & Senior Fellowships by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. One of my students Shri Kalpataru Guha,  received the President Award and many of them have received the Governor award for their contribution in the field of mime. All these give a sense of fulfillment and joy.
If you had not become a mime artist what would you be?
I am also very much interested in sports and so maybe I would have become a football or cricket player.
Your message to our readers.
The one step – Choosing your goal and sticking to it – changes everything. Be honest to yourself and be a good human being.

  7 comments for “Padma Shree Niranjan Goswami, Mime Artist

    March 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    i want to learn this art if you can help me………….. plz give me a chance to learn….

  2. unnati
    June 3, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Respected Sir,i have a drama academy in Belgaum karnataka.we teach MIME to children.but still the concept of MIME is not known to people. i want to conduct a show for my city. how can i contact you further.thank u.

  3. Tariq
    April 19, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Hii Sir., I am interested in mime., & I want to learn more in that from u.. I need a chance to express my talent… Thank u…

  4. Tariq
    April 19, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Hii Sir., I am interested in mime., & I want to learn more about in mime.. I need a chance to express my talent… Thank u… plz., give me a chance sir…

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