My mentor is at Nizamuddin Dargah, says actor Makrand Deshpande | bollywood | Hindustan Times
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My mentor is at Nizamuddin Dargah, says actor Makrand Deshpande

After 12 years, Makrand Deshpande will be staging his popular play, Sir Sir Sarla in Delhi. He talks about his play, his mentor and more.

bollywood Updated: Apr 20, 2017 21:46 IST
Henna Rakheja
Actor Makarand Deshpande says when in Delhi, he makes it a point to visit the Nizamuddin Dargah.
Actor Makarand Deshpande says when in Delhi, he makes it a point to visit the Nizamuddin Dargah. (Aalok Soni/Hindustan Times)

e is known for playing unforgettable characters. Be it on screen or on stage, whenever actor Makrand Deshpande makes an appearance, the audience is in for a treat. “When Ram Gopal Varma saw a show of Satya at Eros, he said to me: I don’t understand why people laugh when you appear on screen,” recollects Deshpande.

After almost 12 years, he will be staging his acclaimed play Sir Sir Sarla, which is “a love story between a teacher and students” in Delhi. He wrote it in 2001 and the cast of the play had Anurag Kashyap, Sonali Kulkarni and Abhimanyu Singh as students, while Rajender Gupta played the character of teacher.

He says, “At that time, Anurag’s Paanch was being held by the Censor Board. This play used to give him a platform to vent his anger and frustration. Even Sonali was excited to work with me. Now that all of them have become teachers themselves, I got new students on board.”

A scene from the play Sir Sir Sarla, directed by Makrand Deshpande.

Deshpande, who has directed the play, will also be enacting a role in it, this time round. He reminisces about the original star cast, when the play was first performed: “I wrote this play in 2001 because people used to say that my plays are all abstract. So, I thought of making this love story between a teacher and his students. Anurag Kashyap, Sonali Kulkarni and Abhimanyu Singh used to play the students and Rajender Gupta was the teacher.”

The actor reminiscences, “Last time, I performed in Delhi, it was in 2005. The play used to be in two parts then.” Even after all these years, he remembers that “the same audience, which came to see part one, revisited the next day for part two”— such was the play’s grip on the audience. Deshpande, who has directed the play, will also be enacting a role in it, this time round.

When asked about his mentor in Delhi, he says, “Nizamuddin Aulia. Whenever, I come to Delhi, I go to Nizamuddin Dargah and hug the grave of Nizamuddin Aulia. My mentor is there.”

Catch It Live
  • What: Sir Sir Sarla, play
  • Where: Kamani Auditorium, Mandi House
  • When: February 26
  • Timings: 6.30pm
  • Nearest Metro Station: Mandi House on Blue Line