Published On : Tue, Jun 26th, 2018

BJP’s Sandip Joshi regales audience with his acting skills

Nagpur: BJP leader in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) Sandip Joshi has impressed the masses through his leadership skills but now he has also regaled the audience using his acting talent. Yes, you heard it right. On Monday Sandip Joshi convincingly played his part in a play based on Shivaji Maharaj’s character.

Joshi played the lead protagonist in Marathi drama ‘Raje Haach Khara Shri Cha Ashirwad’. The play sought to present a more humane picture of the Maratha ruler and his mother Jijabai, often considered to be the power behind him. Staged at Sai Sabhagruh on Monday evening, the drama was written and directed by Ujawal Thengdi for the purpose of “narrating the saga of freedom struggle and to also project lesser known aspects of the personalities of these two towering figures of Marathi history.”

The play takes the form of a series of episodes which have been strung together to narrate the prevailing situation in the country during that period, the constant infighting between the Hindu kingdoms, the dominance of Muslim rulers and the growing influence of the British on Indian political scene.

Most of the actors in the play are amateurs picked up by Thengdi, who has produced and directed three Marathi films including the highly acclaimed Wazir made in 1994. “I had seen Joshi at an event way back in 2006, and when I was searching for an actor to play Chhatrapati Shivaji, I remembered him,” says Thengdi.

“Though he is much taller than Shivaji, his eyes and ears create a very strong resemblance. He has very penetrating eyes and an impressive personality,” says the director.

Joshi, who has earlier played the role of Keshav Hedgewar in a film produced in 1989, got a fortnight to prepare for the play. “I was given a 32-page script of which I had to memorize 15 pages. It was lot of hard work as for most of the 70 minutes duration of the play, I am on stage,” says Joshi. “I am a politician and so I could identify with a lot of dialogues. Many of the concerns voiced by Shivaji are relevant to this day too,” he says about the portions which also won him rounds of applause during the performance.

The play handles the dynamics of the inter-personal relationships between the mother and son and other members of the family and their entourage. “I had written it two years back and had held a show in London. Now, I plan to hold it in five other countries where I would also be setting up replicas of Shri Siddhivinayak Temple,” Thengdi informs.