Honoured to receive Pu La award, says Paresh Rawal

Noted film and theatre actor Paresh Rawal was awarded the 'Pu La Sanman' at a function on Monday. Rawal. who has acted in several critically acclaimed films, received a memento, a certificate, Puneri Pagdi and cash prize of Rs 25,000 by veteran director-actor Vijaya Mehta at Ramanbaug grounds.

Speaking at a press conference before the event, Rawal said, "Awards only matter to me when they are awarded by important people, and the name they carry. Pu La was a legendary humorist, writer, actor and musician. It is an honour to receive this award." The award is part of the 10th year of Pulotsav — a celebration of films, theatre, music, literature and art. The event is organised every year in memory of renowned Marathi writer P L Deshpande, fondly called Pu La.

Speaking on varied subjects from theatre, to the rising importance of independent cinema, Rawal expressed his displeasure on the rising corruption in India and said he wished he had the liberty to join politics, full time.

"Looking at the blatant corruption in India, I am almost provoked to join the Naxalite movement and become an extremist. Agar mujhe itna mehsoos hota hai, to aam admi ko kaisa lagta hoga (If I feel it so keenly, what must the common man feel)," he said.

The 62-year-old actor who is famous for his comic roles, returned to the Gujarati theatre after a gap of 16 years with the play Dear Father, an adaptation of the Marathi play Katkon Trikon. "Marathi people are very passionate about theatre. This is the one place where we keep getting a fine crop of directors, actors and writers from," he said. Previous recipients of this award include Girish Karnad, Gulzar, Lata Mangeshkar and Nana Patekar.

Pulotsav is on till November 8 at the New English School, Ramanbaug ground, National Film Archive of India theatre and Film and Television Institute of India.

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