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A nice man to know

After having acted in films like, `Ankush', `Parinda', `Khamoshi', and `Bhoot', Nana Patekar's histrionic skills are widely known and appreciated greatly. Brace up for a different face of Nana as he dons the director's cap in `Jhumman', where he plays the title role of a butcher.

VERSATILE VETERAN: Passionate about his first love, theatre.

ARROGANT, MOODY, toffee-nosed — these are the adjectives associated with him, that too if you try to ask him the obvious or soil his bed with beta or digital paraphernalia.

But, if you take pains to get across the upper sheath, Nana Patekar is a nice man to know.

The man, who has versatility for his middle name is content with his journey in the world of dreams, which he boarded with Aaj Ki Awaaz.

With milestones like Ankush, where he played the angry young man ready to take on the system, a wife tormentor in Agnisakshi, patriotic zealot in Tiranga and Krantiveer, and even the smaller stations as Thoda Sa Rumani Ho Jayen, where as rainmaker he drenched us with intellectual humour, Nana has always experimented with the characters he plays.

METHOD ACTOR: Nana Patekar has always experimented with the characters he plays.

So, after a rabble rousing Krantiveer, he dared to shut his mouth in Khamoshi. Earlier, when Bollywood was busy with Mogambos, Nana came up with a realistic Anna in Parinda, who was afraid of a thing as elementary as a burning paper but could send a chill down your spine with his constant hamming.

Ask him about his latest release, Bhoot, and he takes no credit for the windfall at the box-office, attesting the fact that images are nothing but interpretations in the process.

He says, "I take life with a lot of cynicism, I don't believe in black and white but in grey shades. I am not into moneymaking business, I do roles which are challenging, that's why I refused offers, which inundated me after Krantiveer, as all of them characterised me as a lecturer on patriotism."

He maybe weary of repeating the messiah act on screen, but ask him about the surge in corruption and people's despondency, he minces no words in condemning corrupt politicians, whom he terms political bhoots. "These bhoots are numbered, and if we unite, we can easily foil their devious plans, but I feel that we have not come to terms with the requirements of democracy."

The man is still passionate about his first love, theatre, and feels sorry that he could not devote as much time as his colleague Naseer does. "For me, theatre is like catharsis. That is why, I returned to it to save myself from being typecast. Right now, I am working on Girish Karnad's play Hayavadana."

CLASH OF THE TITANS: With Amitabh Bachchan in `Kohram.'

He also dons the director's cap again with Jhumman, after the commercial debacle of Prahaar. In consonance with his nature, Nana refuses to talk about the past and divulge the details about the future, except that he is playing the title role of a butcher and that it is going to be a musical. With a little prodding, he reveals that it is not going to be a Khamoshi kind of musical, but in the genre of Fiddler on the Roof — the play which made history in Broadway as well as Hollywood. The hint is enough to raise the beats of his fans, as Fiddler on the Roof kind of script will provide him ample scope to showcase his histrionics. With Jhumman, he is the latest to join the Ramgopal Varma army of auteurs, whom he praises as the man who shares his ideas about offering new scripts treated differently to audiences.But, he is still in no mood to talk about Liaqat Qureshi — his character in Bhoot, who, for a change, does not ham like the Nana we know. "See, I don't believe in apparitions. I told Ramu, you tell me and I will do it that way. Whatever is good or bad in the film is because of Ramu." He again plays a cop in Ramu's venture Ab Tak Chappan.

Talk about his dream role, Nana's eyes beam with youthful charm. "I wish to do the role of my idol, Bhagat Singh, but some of the `greatest' actors have already played it. Also, now the age is not on my side." Try to change the topic and ask about his favourite heroine, Nutan, he enquires one's knowledge about the legend.

Satisfied, he apprises, "The lady had such a charming face, especially the eyes that you don't need to look beyond her visage — that's the real beauty." Among the young crop, he approves of Preity Zinta for her ability to carry different emotions.

The `rainman' parts with his mantra of rain: be confident, even in failures, and sooner or later success will drench you.


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