Odissi dancer Jhelum Paranjape has childhood memories of cycling down the streets of Pune, “like typical tomboys”, with Smita Patil for company. This Saturday, on Patil’s 60th birth anniversary a tribute by Paranjape will celebrate their friendship and various aspects of Patil’s personality.
“Both of us trained under the same guru — Shankar Behera. We were partners in several dances. And even though she was an actor, her heart was always in dance,” Paranjape says. Three years after Patil’s demise, when Paranjape launched a dance institute (in 1989), she named it Smitalaya, in fond memory of her friend.
At the event, 60 artists will pay homage to the talented actor. Soliloquies, music performances, plays and dance productions will be staged. A troupe from Smitalaya along with Paranjape, will perform a classical piece from Odisha and Assam, and also on songs from Patil’s movies like Bhumika (1977) and Bhumika (1982).
The theatre section of the event will see the Smita Patil Street Theatre group perform Arth, a play on drug abuse, that has been listed in the Limca Book of Records as the longest running street play four times in a row.
The event will also feature soliloquies by theatre, film and TV personalities like Meeta Vashisht (who will perform an excerpt from her play Lal Ded — a solo performance about the 14th century mystic poet from Kashmir) and Suhita Thatte (who will be performing a piece portraying the mother-daughter relationship). Pramod Pawar will read out the memoirs of Patil, penned by journalist Bharat Kumar Raut.
Those close to Patil were privy to a fun side to her personality, and comedy, in the form of a spoof, will be an element at the event. “Not many know that she was good at comedy. In fact, she could have been a comedian too, but she was stereotyped as a serious actor and never got the lighter roles,” says Paranjape. She goes on to add that Patil was adept at singing as well: “Though she never sang professionally, she often sang at parties and get-togethers.”
What: A tribute to Smita Patil will be held on Oct 17, 4pm to 7pm.
Where: Sawarkar Hall, opp Shivaji park, Cadell Road, Dadar (W)
Entry: Rs 200 onward
Call: 2661 6398