Entertainment Theatre 09 Apr 2018 Gearing up for battl ...

Gearing up for battle

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | RESHMI CHAKRAVORTY
Published Apr 9, 2018, 12:30 am IST
Updated Apr 9, 2018, 12:40 am IST
Ranangan, a play based on the third battle of Panipat, will be staged in the city on April 15 at Ravindra Bharati.
Team Ranangan with director Saurabh Gharipurikar (centre).
 Team Ranangan with director Saurabh Gharipurikar (centre).

Every tale is told through the perspective of the narrator. This is why, sometimes, the same story differs from narrator to narrator. Even centuries-old battles and wars have different versions of what had exactly happened. City-based theatre group Udaan Performing Arts is trying to bring forth a true story through their latest full-length Marathi production Ranangan, which will be staged at Ravindra Bharati on April 15. Based on Vishwas Patil’s novel and a play of the same name, the play aims to bring to light the least known facts about the third battle of Panipat. “We are trying to show the main reason why the Marathas lost the battle against the Afghans. Ranangan is based on the third battle held on January 14, 1761, between the Marathas and Afghan Emperor Ahmed Shah Abdali. The battle took place in a village called Panipat near Delhi in the 18th century,” says the director Saurabh Gharipurikar. “We had to do a lot of research before we started with the play. We can’t be factually wrong when dealing with history. Since January we have been rehearsing after the auditions. Even for me, this is my first war drama production and the challenge is more,” he adds. 

For Sheetal Mondkar Veturi, a manager with Google and an active volunteer with Art of Living, who is enacting two emotionally intense roles — one of Bhagirathi, wife of Dattaji Rao Shinde, and Parvati Bai, wife of Sadashiv Rao Bhau, the main Peshwa — it was her passion for acting and the desire to reconnect with her Marathi roots that drew her to the play. Elaborating on how she is preparing for the character, she says, “Both the roles are very emotionally challenging. It took a lot out of me to relate to them. Our director Saurabh really helped me grasp the feeling and get into the skin of the characters.”

 

Kapil Kulkarni who is also playing two important roles that are poles apart — of Afghan Emperor Ahmed Shah Abdali and Dattaji — feels it was a challenge too. “I play two diverse roles. One of an angry and fierce emperor and the other, a calmer one. While the Afghan guy speaks in Urdu and Hindi, Dattaji speaks in rural Marathi. Grasping both the dialect and diction as well as switching between characters was a bit difficult.” Kapil had ventured into theatre eight years ago while still in college. But it’s only last year through another Marathi production that he has taken up theatre again. The whole team is super excited to bring the war on stage.

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