Series format lends itself for good literature to be adapted: Rasika

Actor Rasika Dugal talks about why she prefers consuming content on a visual medium rather than reading nowadays.
Rasika Dugal will be seen in a screen adaptation of A Suitable Boy.
Rasika Dugal will be seen in a screen adaptation of A Suitable Boy.
Published on Feb 04, 2020 01:08 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByRadhika Bhirani, New Delhi

Films have, for long, drawn inspiration from books, and the TV and web space is taking the trend forward with book adaptations. Actor Rasika Dugal, who has a pivotal role in Mira Nair’s screen version of Vikram Seth’s classic novel A Suitable Boy, believes a series format allows literature to be dealt with in a more appealing and engrossing way.

Read: You relate to some characters instantly, says Rasika on Out of Love

She says, “The series format really lends itself for good literature to be adapted in the sense that we have the luxury of time. In a film, a lot gets edited out... it’s very difficult to adapt a book to a film.”

Rasika believes that the current generation is more in tune with visual interpretation, and hence, the source material is remembered for a longer time. Personally, the Manto and Hamid (both 2018) actor has been drawn towards watching things than reading in the past two years. “That’s how life is changing for us. The draw of the visual medium captivates you and it’s possibly even required for the times we live in, as there are so many things vying for our attention. You need something which really pulls you in.”

Having said that, she admits that reading a book is a very different and beautiful experience.


Rasika took many months to actually read A Suitable Boy, which is “pretty thick” with over a thousand pages. She recounts, “I don’t remember how long I took to read it for the first time. But this time, I read it over three and a half months.”

And there’s an interesting reason why. “An online version is not available, so you have to carry the physical book around... At that time, you kind of knew everybody who was auditioning in Mumbai for A Suitable Boy, so much so that I felt carrying the book around would be like announcing that I am on the shortlist. I was wary of that, so I would only read the book when I was at home, which was for very few hours,” she shares.

The actor particularly finds the process of adaptations interesting, as she feels that directors have the hardest exercise at hand in deciding what to retain and what to omit. But Rasika is sure that “the Vikram Seth-Mira Nair combination is a lethal one” and the series will be “as beautiful as the book”.

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