Amol Palekar Leaves Bhubaneswar Mesmerised With Comeback Play

Bhubaneswar: Veteran actor-director Amol Palekar had theatre goers riveted with his on stage act of a retired ACP in the Hindi play ‘Kasur’ (The Mistake) at Rabindra Mandap here on Saturday evening.

The play was first staged in November last year and marked Palekar’s comeback to theatre after 25 years.

The crime-drama has been written by Sandhya Gokhale, who has also co-directed it with Palekar. “The play was my gift to Amol on his 75th birthday,” said Sandhya, while interacting with the audience.

For the actor, he had to unlearn and go through a grinding process picking up the nuances all over again. “Unlike other artistes, actor don’t practice or rehearse on a daily basis. I had to slowly scratch off the rust that had settled in all these years,” said Palekar.

Full of twists and turns, the story attempts to shake the audience off their complacency and asks them to look beyond their prejudices as it overturns assumptions with the subtext lingering in the minds long after the curtain drop.

The play, which has been adapted from the Danish film ‘Den Skyldige’, illuminates the multicultural complexities of contemporary life in Mumbai.

Continuous rain and the constant ringing of phones in the police control room create an atmosphere of chaos and urgency, which is heightened by one call from a woman. The protagonist gets emotionally involved despite being warned not to, leading to a somewhat predictable conclusion as to what his ‘kasur’ (mistake) was, and aptly supported by the setting with large window and Google maps and the blue lights, signifying the darkness that envelopes one’s life.

Palekar was given a standing ovation as he walked back to the stage. The measured dialogue delivery keeping pace while communicating with recoded phone conversations was no mean task.

The actor of ‘Golmaal’ fame lauded the Bhubaneswar audience, who he said helped him get back to the serious mood of the play after a brief interruption caused by flashing cell phones.

The play was a part of the three-day Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Literary Meet ending on Sunday.

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