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‘I wanted to become a director’

DNPUN21156 | 11/30/2009 | Author : Pallavi Kharade | WC :422

Anand Abhyankar is a complete actor — he can be seen in TV serials, films and even in theatre

He is a familiar face not only on the small screen, but also on the silver screen. Meet versatile actor Anand Abhyankar, who has worked in Marathi films like Mareparyant Phaashi, Checkmate, Matichya Chuli and Akeleche Kaande.
Anand has also worked in Hindi films like Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi, Vaastav, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rehta Hai and Lage Raho Munnabhai. Hailing from Pune, the actor has his kitty full with Carry on Pandu and Pappu Can’t Dance Sala.
Playing the lead role in a popular play Kuryat Sada Tingalam proved to be a turning point in Anand’s life. Soon after, he acted in more than 950 shows of another play called Aai Retire Hotey with Bhakti Barve. He has even essayed popular characters such as Paropakari Gampu and Gaja Khot from noted writer PL Deshpande’s book Vyakti Ani Valli.
“Since the entire Maharashtra knows these legendary characters by heart, portraying them was certainly not a mean feat. But when PL Deshpande saw me enacting them, he said they have been potrayed just the way he had penned in his book,” he smiles.
Working for the small screen in a popular serial Asambhav made Anand bag several awards including the RAPA Award (Radio and TV Advertising Practitioners Association of India). “Playing the role of Dinanath Shashtri, an 85-year-old man so convincingly, was certainly very challenging. Also considering that many old people have Parkison’s disease, I added that bit into my body language. Such value additions made the character very popular.”
Ask him about his favourite role and it has to be the one he played in Asa Me Kay Gunha Kela. “I was a bank officer who is afraid of law. The story revolves around a bank and the role is very real and authentic,” says Anand.
Along with films and TV serials, the actor is also busy doing intimate theatre. “Considering that theatre has failed to reach Indian villages due to high costs, we are doing it in a way which doesn’t require a stage, expensive sets and lights. In this setup, only three actors can portray 20 characters. I am working in two plays titled Ase Navare Asha Baika and Ase Pahune Yeti. These are very popular not only in Maharashtra, but also in Kuwait, London and Israel.”
Acting happened quite by chance, as he wished to become a director instead. “As a child, I never wanted to become Amitabh Bachchan. Instead I always wanted to become Yash Chopra. In fact, I have recently directed a film called Majhi Vithai Mauli.”

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