A number of interesting, humorous incidents from the legendary actor’s movies and life were shared at the event
Acclaimed filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar recently said in an interview that he used to run a video library during his growing up days in Khar, Mumbai. But on Saturday he got further candid by revealing that his lot of 70-80 video cassettes always used to have few prints of Bhagwan dada’s popular movie Albela.
“There was a lot of demand for Albela. People watched it again and again. Sometimes I used to urge my customers to watch it again and they used to happily oblige. Even I have seen the movie many times. I also have fond memories of watching Bhagwan dada a number of times in a small restaurant in Khar where he used to shoot his films.” said Bhandarkar.
The Chandni Bar director went into the flashback mode during the launch of the Marathi movie Albela, which is based on the life of the late yesteryear superstar Bhagwan Abhaji Palav aka Bhagwan dada. Produced under the banner of Kimaya Motion Pictures, the film is directed by Niranjan Patwardhan. The event also marked the launch of Isak Mujavar’s Marathi book Ek Albela, which is also based on the dancing superstar.
Patwardhan, himself a big admirer of dada, said he is eager to spread his art. “I was highly surprised when I realized nobody has ever written even 30 pages on him. If people had known even fifty percent of his talent, he would have been considered the biggest showman,” he said. This is Patwardhan’s first film as a director. He has earlier worked with Bhandarkar in Corporate, Traffic Signal, Fashion and Jail.
Various other guests spoke about dada’s greatness which turned out to be very informative for youngsters who don’t know much about him. “While working with him in any film, we always felt as if we have come for a picnic. His dance was remarkable. In fact, dada’s dancing style is also visible in Amitabh Bachchan’s dance steps,” said senior actor Viju Khote. “It is not possible for the current actors to match his dancing skills,” stated filmmaker Kiran Shantaram, son of the late legendary V Shantaram.
Some funny incidents about the actor were also shared by Mujavar and the yesteryear Marathi and Hindi film actress Sulochana Devi, who launched Mujavar’s book. “He had an unusual habit of sleeping while standing. But when the shot was announced, he used to automatically wake up and start acting,” laughed Sulochana.
Mujavar added, “Once during our train journey out of city, he fell down from the upper berth. So I was told to occupy his berth while dada was given the lowest berth. But in the morning, we realized he had fallen from the lowest berth as well.” He also revealed that some of his movies had the same basic plot but despite that, each film succeeded in keeping the audience engrossed.
Attendees also included dada’s son Arun Palav, yesteryear actresses Jeevan Kala and Leela Gandhi, Uday Chipalkatti and others. The event surely generated a lot of curiosity for the biopic. But one has to wait till 2013 to see how the film turns out to be.