Makarand Deshpande shows how media

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Posted: 15 years ago
Makarand Deshpande shows how media tried 'selling' terror

Staying off the trodden path comes naturally to Makarand Deshpande, often tagged as the 'funny man' of theatre and cinema. Now, with his latest play Makarand has used the stage to make a mockery of the way various sections of the media handled the recent terror attacks in Mumbai.

The play — Kavita Bhaag Gayee — is a satire on the way sections of the media tried to 'sell' the terror attacks to the viewers. This is perhaps the first play in the city that is an expression of outrage expressed by any theatrewalla at the recent attacks. It will be staged at the Prithvi Theatre till December 28,2008.

He says, "Though I had started writing the script before the attacks, it fell in place during the event."

Kavita Bhaag Gayee narrates the plight of a struggling poet who realises that the art of poetry has parted ways with him. The play set in contemporary times borrows several elements from mythological literature to show how people live in troubled times today and how the media augers the problems. He says, "One of the lead characters in my play is the mythical character of Ashwathama, who is known to be the epitome of curse and pain."

His disgust at the situation is so acute that he draws parallels between the media coverage of the recent death and destruction with the characters in his play breaking all ethical boundaries in attempting to 'sell' the legendary warrior's distress.

Despite grabbing eyeballs with his performance in movies like Makdee and Swades, Makarand admits that it has been a conscious effort to stay away from Bollywood to pursue theatre. He says, "The issue with Bollywood is that most actors have no meat in the kind of roles they do. They are just instruments to take the storyline further." He adds, "Long time ago, Mahesh Bhatt told me that my big screen audience really wanted to see more of me, but I have sacrificed a lot to stay close to the stage."


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