Bhau Kadam of Chala Hawa Yeu Dya fame talks about playing a liftman in a new web series
Bhau Kadam now has a chance to explore this as part of a new Marathi web series, Liftman, which uses a relatable setting to delve into the psyche of people and showcase how different people react to situations
As an actor, who has to step into the lives of others while enacting roles, Bhalchandra Kadam aka Bhau, has often thought about what goes on in the mind of a liftman. "I've been strangely intrigued by the life of a lift operator because the only interaction you have with him is when you tell him the floor number. I was curious to know what goes the mind of this man, who is passively privy to so many conversations," says the comedian, who became a household name with the hit Marathi show, Chala Hawa Yeu Dya.
Kadam now has a chance to explore this as part of a new Marathi web series, Liftman, which uses a relatable setting to delve into the psyche of people and showcase how different people react to situations.
Shot almost entirely in a lift in an Andheri building, the 10-episode series introduces a range of people - from rambunctious group of friends to bickering couples - whom Kadam encounters on the way up and down. Given his brand of rustic comedy, the encounters are invariably hilarious. "I never thought I would be approached for such a role because nobody thinks of a liftman as a protagonist. He has always been neglected in our memory as well in cinema or theatre," says Kadam, who will be playing a titular role for the first time. Even in the show, he's a nameless person. Having essayed a range of roles in films and theatre, Kadam says his foray into web series was courtesy the concept of the show. "I was bowled over when director Sachin Goswami narrated the script. It had humour, and was short and crisp," he says.
Research for the character involved dredging up memories of liftmen he had encountered in his life. He vividly remembers the ones that he has seen in government offices because he feels their mannerism differ vastly from those in residential buildings. "These are the tobacco-chewing type, who will sit in a corner ruminating about life, universe and everything in between. Some even have an air about them, like they are secretly judging you," he laughs.
The show, with each episode running a short duration of eight minutes, throws up situations where Kadam is compelled to engage with the people in the lift. For instance, imagine a situation where the lift breaks down and you are stuck inside with him. "My most memorable episode is when a red ant crawls up my body and starts biting me. On one hand, I want to maintain my composure, but it's impossible. It was fun playing it," he says. But in the midst of all the hilarity, the show provides an insight into the thankless life of a liftman. "Recently, while shooting the show, a security man came up to compliment me on the show. He said, 'Why don't you make a show around us too? Even we have enough stories to tell'."
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