The alpha male and the sensitive lover boy
2/2/2016 2:53:59 PM
|written By : Shobhaa De|
I realised how utterly starved I am for some form of communication in Marathi, when I received a text message from Nana Patekar this week. He wanted me to watch Natsamrat, a brilliant film from all accounts, with a tour de force performance by one of our finest actors - 65-year-old Vishwanath (Nana) Patekar. The message was brisk, and in Roman script. But the words (and sentiments) were Marathi - colloquial Marathi. It felt good! The other person with whom I share this sweet Marathi connect is the brilliant writer, 74-year-old Kiran Nagarkar. His Roman-Marathi messages are lively, witty and laced with familiar slang. Kiran very generously compliments me on my broken Marathi, and assures me I speak it fluently and well (liar!). I speak what can best be described as ‘chaalu’ Marathi - conversational and catchy. My grammar is so utterly mangled, any language chauvinist would instantly tick me off for daring to call it Marathi. I soldier on, thanks to more accepting individuals like Nana and Kiran.
Both have so much in common. They are celebrated, award-winning intellectuals, with a terrific fan following. Both are outspoken and socially aware. (Nana started the Naam Foundation to help Maharashtra’s desperate, drought-hit farmers. Kiran’s five novels tackle sensitive socio-political issues.) They do not occupy lofty towers, but are very much in touch with ground realities. They are of the people and with the people. Watch them in a public space and you’ll know what I mean. There is an instant connect with those flocking around them. Nana, being a hugely popular and much admired actor, is surrounded by fawning fans each time he steps out. Kiran has a bevy of beauties at his feet whenever he attends a Lit Fest in India or abroad. Both men dress in simple, handspun khadi. Kiran sticks to long kurtas most of the time. And Nana to shorter kurtis, worn over jeans. Kiran looks an ascetic and speaks softly. Nana is fiery and flamboyant. He uses his unmistakable baritone as his calling card most effectively, on and off the screen. As professionals, they are right on top of their respective games. Nana is enjoying the success of Natsamrat. Kiran is busy with the promotional activities connected to his last novel, The Extras (a sequel to his stunning Ravan and Eddie).