Man of many words

Feb 07, 2013, 00:18 IST | Avantika Patil

If Hinglish is so popular today, it is all thanks to one man � Bharat Dabholkar. But the ad man has a different story to tell.

“I am from a vernacular background, and when I was told to write copy, I would write it in mixed language,” says Bharat. Back on the theatre scene with his 32nd play which makes a reference to Yashraj, Bharat talks to CS about his love for theatre, acting and the late Yash Chopra.

Bharat Dabholkar
Who: Bharat Dabholkar
What: On his latest play
PIC/ Santosh Nagwekar

Angrezi hassels
English as a language was a little difficult for me. Coming from a vernacular background, I was never an expert at it, as I wasn’t proficient in English at all. My first job was with the DaCunhas where Sylvester DaCunha, Alyque Padamsee, and his friends would sit in the office and discuss English theatre. And that’s when theatre happened.

Theatre time
Being with them, I started writing in what is now popularly called Hinglish. The first play I wrote and directed was P L Deshpande’s ‘Tujhe Aahe Tujpashi’’s Hinglish version. Since the feel of the play was so called Hinglish, no one was ready to produce it. The only person who encouraged me was P L Deshpande. He told me, that this is the language that will be spoken ten years down the line.

New era
I have worked with the likes of Dilip Prabhavalkar, Bhavana Balsavar, Viju Khote and many more. In fact, all the popular people of Bollywood have acted in my plays. Arshad was a dancer earlier and it was in one of my plays that he started doing small roles. He met Maria during one such play.

In awe of audiences
I have always lived for the audience and did what I felt was right. Trends and rules never affected me. After writing 32 successful plays, even today I have this bad habit of making a hole in the curtains, so that I can stand backstage and see what the audience have to say. And trust me, there is no joy on this planet than to watch your audience laugh out loud. I have worked for audience and will keep doing so.

King of romance
I have refered to Yashraj because Yashji changed the entire style of Indian weddings. Traditionally, Indian weddings were different in different states. But after Yashji came into the scene, every wedding became a six day affair with a choreographed sangeet, mehndi, cocktail party and all. After I did this play, I had met Yashji personally and had told him about it. Hearing the title, he laughed and said he wanted to come for the first show. He had said that keep it after October, but unfortunately before that, he passed away. And my play is a tribute to him.   

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