Of boiled beans and incomplete cities

Pune-based Mohit Takalkar, a man equally well known in the film and theatre world, comes back full circle to his first love with his latest play, Uney Purey Shahar Ek or Boiled Beans on a Toast. Lately, the Artistic Director of Asakta Kalamanch met with approbation from many quarters for his film, The Bright Day.

A still from the play with (Left) Siddharth Menon and (right) Jyoti Subhash . Pics courtesy/ Sarang Sathaye and Prasad Dabke

With a stellar cast that comprise of veterans such as Rajit Kapoor, Shernaz Patel, Dr Mohan Agashe and Robin Das, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.

“I had not directed a play for the last one and a half years. Girish Karnad wrote Benda Kaalu on Toast in Kannada, which is the original play. On the first read itself, I found it unpredictable yet identifiable. Karnad has written a brilliant script where every character has his or her narrative, which is left at some point of time and then picked up again,” shares Takalkar.

A still from the play with (Left) Vibhawari Deshpande and (right) Sagar Deshmukh

The play’s focus is on a city’s shifting identity and how it encourages people to dream while deriving its energy from this fact. He adds, “Although in the original script the location of the play was Bengaluru, and we changed it to Pune, it could be any city which is on the cusp of becoming a megalopolis. It could have been Jaipur, Hyderabad or Chandigarh.”

Director of Uney Purey Shahar Ek —Mohit Takalkar

Looking back, he talks of the challenges with this play: “Handling 19 actors and giving nine of those characters their due was very difficult. I haven’t done a play like this before in my 12 years.”¬†AT NCPA Experimental Theatre, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point.

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