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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Lalan was a fierce, frank and rebellious actor, says Dr Mohan Agashe

Dr Mohan Agashe is Marathi and Hindi actor and playwright

pune Updated: Nov 10, 2018 14:52 IST
Mohan Agashe
Mohan Agashe
Hindustan Times, Pune
Late actor Lalan Sarang.
Late actor Lalan Sarang.(HT PHOTO)

This is the first time that I was not aware of Lalan being admitted to hospital, otherwise I was her doctor for advice for her ailments. I felt deeply saddened when I got the news in the morning. For the first time I didn’t know…She had acute back pain and her knees would hurt. Her death has been too sudden and I wish I had met her more frequently.

I knew of Lalan as a fierce, frank and rebel actor from the Marathi professional theatre and her play Sakharam Binder was instrumental in bringing us together. I was present for the show of Sakharam Binder which never took place at Balgandharva Rang Mandir in 1973 as protestors banned the show of the play.

Both of us faced similar problems as my play Ghashiram Kotwal had also faced a ban at Balgandharva Rang Mandir, and here I was sitting in the theatre where her play too was stopped. The attack was not on the plays, but more on the playwright Vijay Tendulkar. I was present for the in-camera meeting between Lalan Sarang, her husband Kamlakar Sarang and the protestors where Lalan was requesting them to at least see the play before writing it off. Even the then assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Ajit Parasnis was present, but since they could not come to any agreement, the show was cancelled. This was the beginning of our friendship. It was as though we were both from different areas of theatre — amateur and professional. It was as if both of us were part of the same self-help group which came together, met and discussed problems. We were empathic towards each other.

The opportunity to work together came from Indian national theatre (INT) where the young director/theatre actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar wanted to revive Sha Na Navare’s play Hala Andhara Kavadsa. The play was earlier directed by Satish Dubashi. We met and as usual, had verbal duels since our approaches were different. But that led to a healthy friendship between us. Lalan shifted to Pune after Kamlakar got ill with Parkinson’s, but that did not deter her fighting spirit and she lived her life without complaints and with determination.

She was an excellent cook, especially fish, and she opened her own restaurant, Masemari on Tilak Road where I would often take my seafood loving friends to enjoy her cooking. She managed both her home, theatre as well as her restaurant very well and was very disciplined in her life; a true fighter till the end.

I have lost a good friend and the Marathi theatre a good actor…

Dr Mohan Agashe is Marathi and Hindi actor and playwright

(As told to Prachi Bari)

First Published: Nov 10, 2018 14:50 IST

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