Meet the quiet strength behind the Mahatma

10 April,2024 06:19 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Hiren Kotwani

To mark her 155th birth anniversary, Gandhi makers share exclusive look of Bhamini’s Kasturba Gandhi; actor says dream come true to work opposite husband Pratik

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It's tough to separate Kasturba Gandhi from the shadow of her distinguished husband, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, looming large over her. But Hansal Mehta's web series, Gandhi, attempts to dissect both - the man behind the Mahatma, as well as the woman who stood steadfast by his side as he led India's fight for freedom against the British Raj. On her 155th birth anniversary today, Gandhi's makers have shared the first look of the reel Kasturba, essayed by Bhamini Oza. What makes Oza's casting interesting is that it marks her first on-screen collaboration with actor-husband Pratik Gandhi, who plays the titular role.

"Stepping into Kasturba Gandhi's shoes feels like a beautiful twist of fate in my acting journey. Working with Hansal Mehta is a dream come true, especially alongside my husband Pratik," says Oza. With her roots firmly in theatre, the actor has featured in television shows and films, including Kathal: A Jackfruit Mystery (2023). It was her long-time wish to share screen space with her actor-husband. "Now it's finally happening. My attempt is to bring honesty to the character and a genuine connection to the story," she smiles.

Pratik Gandhi and Hansal Mehta

The ambitious show is based on historian Ramachandra Guha's books, Gandhi Before India, and Gandhi: The Years That Changed The World. Beginning with the Mahatma's early years and his experiences in South Africa, the multi-season series will span decades, showing his evolution as a national leader and the price it came at. Through his incisive lens, the director will also capture how Kasturba played a pivotal role in shaping the Mahatma's journey, and how his story is incomplete without her. The team is currently shooting in Film City, Goregaon.

Having seen Oza's work on the stage, Mehta knew she was an apt choice to bring Kasturba's strength and grace to the screen. "I have known Bhamini as a terrific actor; she is formidable on stage. To showcase her playing the character of a lifetime is a privilege. Kastur is special, and to discover her through Bhamini's performance is even more special," he says. Sameer Nair, managing director, Applause Entertainment, adds, "The decision to cast the real-life couple adds a layer of authenticity to our series. Their shared understanding brings the depth of realism to the portrayal."

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