Posts tagged Chandrakant Kulkarni
Mark Manuel (BOMBAY TIMES; October 10, 2010)
Vipul and Shefali Shah are beaming. The prolific filmmaker has returned to Hindi theatre with Bus Itna Sa Khwab in which his hugely talented and attractive wife holds stage. No, that doesn’t mean that Vipul has given up cinema. Far from it. He’s got the Akshay-Ash starrer Action Replayy coming up in Diwali. But, yes, Vipul has just realised that Shefali is an actress of a rare calibre. And Hindi cinema, which has its own framework, does not offer her enough opportunity to showcase her enormous talent. So, the enterprising Bollywood movie mogul gave his wife Bus Itna Sa Khwab, a Marathi play by Chandrakant Kulkarni and Prashant Dalvi that he updated to suit society’s tastes today. And ever since the play opened, the Shahs have had no rest, Vipul has actually resorted to shows on Saturday as well for theatre enthusiasts… which is rare for the Hindi stage. “But what to do,” he asks, “I never imagined the play would get this kind of response and respect.” He’s got to be present at every show himself, because at the end, the audience expects Vipul to take a curtain call. “Standing ovations, we get for every performance,” he says, “but for one show, I wasn’t there to take the curtain call — and the audience refused to budge!”
All his friends from Bollywood, from Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan to Akshay and Twinkle Kumar, have seen, enjoyed and raved about Bus Itna Sa Khwab. Says Vipul, “Amitji wrote on his blog that it was fantastic and he hadn’t seen anything like this in theatre. Imagine, he has seen it all.” But what is delighting him most is that the question that arises here is not about housefull shows and money, it’s about credibility. Just when theatre was gasping for its last breath, he revived it with this successful play with its Bollywood-like production values. Now he considers it among his biggest achievements. “Profit and loss, success and failure, has not been the formula by which I work,” says Vipul. “I believe the culture of our country is linked to theatre. And that cinema becomes stronger through theatre. I want to work my way back towards it.” Which is a win-win situation all round. Bollywood has the best of Vipul Shah and now theatre is about to get a slice of him as well. Welcome back, and take a bow…
Shefali Shah’s been MIA from the big screen for some time now. So what has made her emerge from her hiatus with a play?
Her immediate concerns mirror that of any other typically harried homemaker - handling her children’s schedule, planning the interiors, deciding the dinner menu for the day and so on.
Adding to the chaos, are the 11 am-10 pm rehearsals, that’s completely consumed her for the last many days.
For once, Shefali Shah seems to be in a quandary about what role is more stressful - that of a full-time mother to two bratty boys, aged seven and eight, or the role of Shalini, the protagonist of Bas Itna Sa Khwab, the play that heralds her return to the stage after a full decade.
“Yes, and I am completely freaked out. I have been suffering from sleepless nights and behaving like a space cadet,” she laughs.
For someone who has tackled roles as complex and varied as the ones in Satya, Gandhi My Father or The Last Lear with ease, it wouldn’t be so difficult, one assumes? “Well, it’s a phenomenal part.
Shalini’s character has got so many layers to it. She’s the most relatable woman and yet she can surprise you. My challenge is to portray her in a way that everyone can identify with her. Imagine, there are pages and pages of soliloquy which I am still struggling with!”
Her excitement, tinged as it is with nervousness, is evident. But what made her return to the acting arena with a play than a power-packed film? “Vipul (Shah, her filmmaker husband) and I were talking about doing theatre.
And both of us had only one choice - Chandrakant Kulkarni’s highly acclaimed Marathi play Dhyani Mani. It’s an old play, where the lead was portrayed by Neena Kulkarni, but we decided to adapt it as a Hindi production.
Of course, there have been changes - the social set-up, age of the character etc - but the soul remains the same,” she says.
Talking of soul, Shefali says she invests that and more in anything she takes up. “Actors have a craft,” she elaborates. “My problem is that I don’t have any craft. I am totally impulsive as an actor, I don’t play a character, I ‘be’ it.
That’s the only way I function. But while earlier I used to bank a lot on my role, the setting, director etc, now I can decipher and interpret it my own way and bring my experience to it.”
The play might hold centrestage for Shefali now but films haven’t been put on the backburner, she insists. If admirers of her talent have been complaining of seeing too little of her on the screen, blame it on the lack of strong roles for women. “It’s a hero-dominated world, one has to come to terms with it,” she shrugs.
The Monsoon Wedding actress, last seen in a bit part in Karthik Calling Karthik (“I haven’t seen it yet, I just did it because the producers asked me too!”) believes she is too passionate about her work to let frivolity creep into it. That’s the reason why she stopped television too after a fairly good innings in the mid ’90s.
“I made a conscious choice of doing roles that were incredibly special. I’ve tried to raise the bar with every film I did. So it’s not the box-office success, but the journey and process of filmmaking that’s important for me. It doesn’t matter if I do two films a year, one film in two years or four films a year. The roles have to excite me. Of course, it helps that I have a life beyond films. If I didn’t, then perhaps I’d be worried.”
It’s a life that completely revolves home. “I have a lot to do. I write, I am doing up our office and home, I watch films…And then there’s motherhood,” she says.
The way she speaks about being a mom, it sounds her most challenging role yet. “It is!” she pipes up. “No theatre or film comes even remotely close to being a hands-on mother.
Remember, there are no perks, no incentives, no sick leaves, no payment and very little appreciation. But I can’t help it… it’s what I enjoy doing the most!”
Sonali Kulkarni married Nachiket Pantvaidya in Pune yesterday
Dil Chahta Hai actress Sonali Kulkarni got married to Nachiket Pantvaidya in a quiet ceremony held in Pune yesterday.
Nachiket (who is the MD of Fox Television Studios) had been dating Sonali for some time, but the couple had been so secretive about their relationship and the subsequent wedding that it has taken even their close friends by surprise.
Sonali’s brother Sandesh, a well known Marathi director, confirms, “It was a simple and traditional Maharashtrian wedding which took place at our Pune house on Monday morning. It was a very private affair with only the immediate families present.”
Sandesh reveals that though it is a love marriage, his family is very happy with Sonali’s choice. “They knew each other for a while and took the permission of their respective families before finalising the wedding.”
A National Award (Chaitra) winning actress with more than 50 films under her belt, Sonali’s marriage is not expected to derail her career. “Sonali will definitely continue acting,” says her brother.
After repeated calls and messages, Sonali reverted, “Yes it’s true and I am very happy. Nachiket is a wonderful man.”
Sonali was briefly married to a Marathi play director Chandrakant Kulkarni and was subsequently seeing theatre actor Makarand Deshpande. This is also Nachiket’s second marriage.