In 'Jana Tha Roshanpura', Saxena plays a bereaved father who cannot get along with his son-in-law but is forced to spend a year with him to honor his late daughter Panja's dying wish. (Image: DC)
Veteran actor and National School of Drama alumnus, Virendra Saxena made his acting debut on the big screen in 1985 with 'Massey Sahib' but the one consistent aspect of his illustrious and multifaceted career has been his love for theatre. Zee Theatre's 'Jana Tha Roshanpura' exemplifies that passion perfectly. The poignant Hindi teleplay penned by his wife and fellow theatre exponent Samta Sagar is now being aired in Kannada and Telugu. Talking about the teleplay Saxena says, "This teleplay is for anyone who has dealt with loss and found a silver lining in the gloom and I am sure that the audiences in the South will identify with the relationships central to the story and its uplifting message of hope."
In 'Jana Tha Roshanpura', Saxena plays a bereaved father who cannot get along with his son-in-law but is forced to spend a year with him to honor his late daughter Panja's dying wish. He says the audiences will relate to not just the thread of grief in the narrative but also the way the shared loss of the two men brings them closer. He adds, "The theme of parental disapproval is so familiar to us but this story also depicts how a father who resented the man his daughter chose, learns to respect and even like him."
This shift happens gradually and in a humorous way. He further Saxena explains, "They bicker constantly and even divide their respective spaces with a line across the house. Crossing the line requires the 'offender' to prepare tea or breakfast but eventually, they grow closer just as Panja would have wished. They start worrying about each other. The son-in-law does not want my character to be left alone while I try to find a match for him! This is a serious theme tackled with humor and will strike a chord with everyone."
Saxena believes theatre offers audiences a spectrum of themes that cinema does not and elaborates, "The relationship between a father-in-law and son-in-law for instance has never been explored in such depth. Theatre offers different perspectives and relatable characters that we often don't get to see on the big screen. This is why I believe multilingual teleplays should become normative now and reach out to everyone. There should not be any language barriers when it comes to a good story. "
Directed for stage by Virendra Saxena himself and filmed by Sanjay Jha, 'Jana Tha Roshanpura' also stars Ravi Mahashabde and Samta Sagar. It will be aired on Airtel Theatre, Dish TV Rangmanch Active & D2h Rangmanch Active on 26th November.