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I look forward to work with Rajkumar Hirani in 3 Idiots sequel: Sharman Joshi

Ahead of staging his famous (Hindi) play Raju Raja Ram Aur Main for the first time in Nagpur, Sharman Joshi speaks exclusively to Nation Next about the play and more?
Sharman Joshi

Having done films like Golmaal: Fun Unlimited, Style, Xcuse Me, Bollywood star Sharman Joshi may be construed as synonymous to comedy by many. The fact remains that besides comedy, he has successfully ticked off many genres in his checklist of films. Be it erotic thrillers, horror movies, psychological thrillers or intense movies, Sharman has done it all. Interestingly, Sharman, who’s known for his superb comic timing, debuted in a serious role in an art film Godmother (1999), and he later rose to prominence with thought provoking and critically acclaimed super hit movies like Rang De Basanti and 3 Idiots. The 39-year-old actor, who’s son of Arvind Joshi, a veteran actor of Gujarati theatre, considers theatre (over Bollywood) to be his first love. In an exclusive interview with Nation Next, Sharman Joshi speaks extensively about his ?first love, his admiration for filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani and his excursions in Nagpur.

Ahead of staging his famous (Hindi) play Raju Raja Ram Aur Main for the first time in Nagpur, Sharman Joshi speaks exclusively to Nation Next about the play and more?

Ahead of staging his famous (Hindi) play Raju Raja Ram Aur Main for the first time in Nagpur, Sharman Joshi speaks exclusively to Nation Next about the play and more?
Raju Raja Ram Aur Main, written and directed by Kedar Shinde, which stars Bollywood actor Sharman Joshi


You’re staging your play Raju Raja Ram aur Main for the first time in Nagpur. Besides a laughter riot from a comedy king like you, what can Nagpur audience expect from the play? 

Haha! You’ve answered the question yourself! The content is unique. All the credit goes to writer-director Kedar Shinde. In terms of content, presentation and entertainment quotient, the play can be compared to any top-end play presented at West End Theatre (London) or Broadway Theatre (New York).


You got back to theatre with Raju Raja?, in which you’re portraying multiple characters. Apparently, it’s a very successful play. Please tell us something about your role and the play.

Raju Raja Ram Aur Main has received a lot of love. It has been staged almost for 2500 times in Marathi. I’m acting in the same play but in Gujarati and Hindi. I portray four different characters in the play. As an actor, the play is extremely challenging and exciting for me. Kedar (Shinde) had written this play for his best buddy (Marathi actor) Bharat Jadhav, but he was kind enough to offer the Gujarati and Hindi version of the play to me.


You say that theatre is ruthless. Have you ever received a harsh reaction from your audience?

Oh ya, oh ya! (Laughs) It’s a nightmare; quite scary, I must say! If things don’t turn out as expected by the audience, it can be quite horrifying and upsetting for an actor. It can knock off an actors confidence. Theatre is all about live performances, but that’s good because you can immediately figure out what goes wrong during the act.

Ahead of staging his famous (Hindi) play Raju Raja Ram Aur Main for the first time in Nagpur, Sharman Joshi speaks exclusively to Nation Next about the play and more?
Sharman Joshi

 You said you felt insecure when you got back to theatre after a gap of 10 years. Why would you say that?

It’s scary when a play (especially a good one) doesn’t work. Like I said earlier, It can be extremely unnerving and you eventually lose all your confidence. You start questioning all the work you’ve done so far.


Theatre actors usually complain about monotony creeping in their lives, as the same plays get staged several times. But as you say, unlike Bollywood, one can get a live reaction from the audience in theatre. What remains your first love ? Bollywood or theatre?

From an actors perspective, my fist love is definitely theatre. Theatre doesn’t give you another chance, there’s no retake. The challenges in theatre can’t be compared to those in cinema. Cinema makes your work reach to a larger audience than theatre though. On the day of the release of the film itself, your work reaches lakhs of people. In theatre, you do multiple shows and then your work reaches thousands.


Being a Bollywood actor, was there anything you had to unlearn for theatre?

See, learning and unlearning is a continuous process! When you’re new to the craft, you’re keen to understand it. You discover a lot about it. Then comes a stage, when you’re more comfortable with your craft and you start taking it for granted. That’s when you unlearn some things and come out of that phase of being a little complacent.


 From debuting in an art film to getting recognised with comedy films, you haven’t been reluctant in experimenting with your on-screen image and roles. Most of the actors are following this trend today. Is it because of a paradigm shift in filmmaking in Bollywood or the audience is more receptive and mature now?

I think the shift comes from the people whore creating the cinema. Great filmmakers like Guru Dutt saab and Raj Kapoor saab did extremely unique work, where the subject was away from the then conventional topics and yet there was a lot of entertainment value in their films. Their movies even garnered commercial success at the box office. I feel the audience is always prepared for good cinema. Filmmakers too always want to make good cinema but then you need to have financers and producers, who are willing to put in their money in such good films.


 Rajkumar Hirani is soon coming up with a sequel of 3 Idiots, and it would surely be incomplete without you?

I hope there are no such plans where he decides not to cast me in it (Smiles)! I’m so eager to be a part of it. I hope it happens soon!


Rajkumar Hirani, arguably the most successful filmmaker in Bollywood, is the Nagpur poster boy?

Yes, hes the Nagpur poster boy, who’s extremely successful! He introduced me to the orange burfee in Nagpur. I loved it. I intend to get many packs back home this time from Nagpur.

Rajkumar Hirani is a wonderful human being. We?d come to Nagpur for the promotions of 3 Idiots and that’s when we visited his home. He also gave us a round of Nagpur and showed us some of the spots, where he would hang around in his college days. I’ve seen Nagpur through the eyes of Raju sir.


 How is it to work with Hirani?

Expect the unexpected! That’s how it’s working with Rajkumar Hirani, the finest director in the industry. He always comes up with novel ideas. It’s always a challenge. It’s not that if you know him, so your work gets easy. It gets even more challenging.


Hirani has fiddled with the biopic genre with his forthcoming film Sanju. If you were to portray someone from Bollywood in a biopic, who would that be?

It’s such a tough job to do what Ranbir (Kapoor) has done. Hes looking amazing in the film. I would do a biopic on Amitabh Bachchan. Sadly, I’m just 5.9 and a half inches tall! So, on this ground itself, I lose the role (Laughs)! Bachchan saabs journey has been full of stardom and challenges, and how he rises from those challenges. It’s amazing!


You worked with Rekha in Super Nani. You once said that she inspired you?

I had a lovely time working with her. Shes also fond of me. She would tell me stories of the times she worked actively in movies. Shes a thorough professional and a disciplinarian.


You haven’t spoken much about your personal life. If you were to deconstruct the enigma around Sharman Joshi for our readers, how would you do that?

I don’t want to do that (Laughs)! I wonder what one would find interesting about me because there’s no deep dark secret that I’m holding! I can be quite lazy when I decide to and can be extremely boring when I’m myself.


Whats keeping you busy these days

I finished working on a couple of films ? Kaashi in Search of Ganga (psychological thriller) and Babloo Bachelor (romantic comedy). Both the films are in postproduction and hopefully the films release by the year-end.


Round Table India presents Sharman Joshi’s super hit Hindi Comedy Play “Raju Raja Ram aur Main” tomorrow (on June 24 at 4pm at Suresh Bhatt Auditorium) at Nagpur. For booking tickets, click here or cal

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Dharavi redevelopment to have dedicated areas for manufacturing: Devendra Fadnavis




Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi redevelopment will have dedicated areas for manufacturing…

Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis said that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

Devendra Fadnavis

The Mah Deputy CM says that Dharavi is a great manufacturing cluster, has been kept in mind while planning its redevelopment.

As Dharavi redevelopment has been announced, doubts were raised on whether this locally evolved entrepreneurial hub will retain its spirit.  In a chat on Sansad TV with Sanjeev Sanyal, Member, PM’s Economic Advisory Council and a writer, on an Economic Sutra episode telecast on Nov 6, the Deputy Chief Minister had made it very clear how he foresees the future of Dharavi and Mumbai.

Saying that his government worked on clearing all the bottlenecks, he adds, “We understood that unless we have a place to rehabilitate people, which is nearby Dharavi, this project will not take off. We found out that there is around 42 acres of land which belongs to the Railways. We approached the Central Government and told them that we’ll free up your land. We’ll buy your land and we’ll give you a share in the profit and we entered into a definitive agreement and now they have handed it over to us.”

“The Dharavi Redevelopment project will be the most unique project ever done. In fact, this redevelopment was visualized by none other than Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 but nothing happened – until 2014 when Modiji came and we started governing Maharashtra. The redevelopment will be no less beautiful than BKC. Dharavi is just not a slum but it’s also a great manufacturing cluster, so what we did was that while planning this scheme we have created areas for this entire manufacturing industry along with planning for the rehabilitation of the people. Right now, this entire manufacturing sector is informal, but after this and over time they will come into the formal sector.”

Watch the full interaction here:

Also, with Mumbai undergoing so many infrastructural changes, questions have been raised about retaining the quintessential character of “aamchi Mumbai,” which apart from being the financial capital of India is undoubtedly one of the most vibrant cities.

Speaking on the land issues, Fadnavis says, “The usable space in Mumbai is very little. It has length, but has limitations on the breadth so taking into consideration all these problems we wanted to design a very robust system for Mumbai for commuters and for vehicles. That’s why the all the new Coastal Road, which will decongest the western side of Mumbai. It will be a ring road type structure along the coast and this Western Expressway carries 60 percent of the Mumbai traffic right, so all that traffic will be mostly accommodated here.”

Commuting in Mumbai is a killer and every day Mumbaikars spend a lot of time on travel. Saying that he wants to reduce travel within Mumbai from anywhere to anywhere to an hour, Fadnavis explains, “Our Metro three is a very unique 40 kilometers of underground Network, which will be the lifeline of Mumbai. It is estimated to carry around 1.7 million passengers per day! All this work will be finished in two or three years and I want that from any place to any place in Mumbai one should reach within less than one hour – that is the planning. We are also trying to integrate the transportation system. Right now, our Suburban Railway is the lifeline of Mumbai. This Suburban Railway carries around 9 million passengers. The new Metro Network which we are creating will be carrying around 7 million or 8 million passengers, almost doubling the current number.”

Adding to this, the Deputy CM says that the 22 kilometers of Sea Bridge that will connect us to the hinterland, “so we have Mumbai, we have new Mumbai and that will be the third Mumbai that will be a land mass which will be bigger than Mumbai with new Mumbai airport. I think the future growth of Mumbai is on that side!”

Also read: Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate

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Pritish Nandy’s ‘spirit of Dharavi’ tweet sparks off poverty porn debate




Nation Next Newsroom | Mumbai

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm…

Dharavi comments of former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy on Friday, kicked off a storm.


Is squalor for cameras, money more important than dignified living for the residents…  

Former parliamentarian and noted media and television personality Pritish Nandy’s Dharavi comments kicked off a storm when he said on Twitter that Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, ‘is not actually a slum but a tribute to the great entrepreneurial spirit of the weakest and smallest person fighting for his or her livelihood in Mumbai. It is also a model in collective coexistence in one of the toughest cities in the world, where nothing else matters. Not caste. Not faith. Not where you come from. But trust and togetherness.’

While this may be true, what is equally true is the squalor and subhuman conditions that reign supreme in this slum. Netizens felt that Nandy, by romanticizing poverty in this manner, was only feeding poverty porn and tourism. Nandy clarified that he was seeking to keep the spirit of Dharavi alive by “researching the architectural grammar, the cultural history that builds integrated and interdependent societies like Dharavi that have survived and flourished over decades and make that the base for the new redevelopment plans. Not just look at the future but also build in the past.”

The Maharashtra Government had on November 29, opened the financial bids for Dharavi redevelopment project.  While 3 companies Adani Realty, DLF and Naman Group had submitted bids, the Adani Group clinched the project with a INR 5,069-crore bid. The timeline for the entire redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum, with an estimated population of 1 million, might take close to 17 years, the rehabilitation of slum dwellers should be complete in seven years. 

Also read: Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health

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Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea on Dec 6; HC says plea should be heard on priority due to his ill health




Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai
The Bombay High Court said ex-minister Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues.

Anil Deshmukh

The Bombay High Court said, as per prima facie, 74-year-old former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh’s bail plea should be heard on priority basis due to the senior leader’s health issues. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the CBI, said that when Deshmukh’s bail plea was moved on medical grounds, then a fresh medical report needed to be called for. 

Singh said, “There is a compilation that has been given now. There are medical papers attached. We need to go through it. Even though this is not a bail application on merit of the case, it is still being circulated under medical issues. He is getting medical treatment as required. Moreover, medical issues are not static. We need a check on what his condition is right now.”

Deshmukh’s advocate Vikram Chaudhari said the senior NCP leader was being treated but has been suffering from several ailments that require constant treatment and care. Chaudhary said, ”He needs to be released. He is a chronic patient.”

Justice MS Karnik said that the court would hear the bail plea on merits. He said, “I am satisfied that we can proceed with the hearing on merits and give it priority. This is my prima facie opinion that priority should be given. One of the medical ailments (that Deshmukh is suffering from) is degenerative.” Deshmukh’s bail plea would now be heard on December 6.

The bench asked Singh whether he was ready to argue on the merits of the case immediately, to which Singh said he would require a week while Chaudhari said that he was ready to argue. However, Justice Karnik said, “We need to give them a fair opportunity.”

Also read: 10 lakh spectators across 50 km; PM Modi makes history with road show for BJP in Ahmedabad

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