Krishna’s Confessions

Directing his first Marathi film, actor Nitish Bharadwaj says his most-remembered role in Mahabharata is a thing of the past.

Dressed in a turquoise blue shirt, black jeans and a pair of white trainers, actor-director Nitish Bharadwaj looks very different from his Krishna days when he featured in the popular television series, Mahabharata. The mischievous smile, however, is still there as he settles down to talk about the Marathi film Pitru Roon –– his debut directorial venture in the language. Donning multiple hats that include being a qualified veterinary surgeon, Lok Sabha MP and a documentary filmmaker, Bharadwaj says the constant need to reinvent has kept boredom at bay.

While he loves the fact that Krishna has become an iconic figure after his portrayal, he says the character has become larger than life. And though the image is deeply entrenched in the minds of audiences, he has moved on. "You need to reinvent. It gets monotonous otherwise. Moreover, life changed a lot since then. Theatre, films and documentaries — they all came my way and I was happy doing so many things," he adds.

Having directed the documentary Karma Yogi, TV serials Gita Rahasya and Apradhi and starring in films such as Pasanta Aahe Mulgi and Njan Gandharvan, Bharadwaj has been busy, albeit quietly over the last two decades, since his "Krishna days".

"Even Pitru Roon was a four-year-long process. When Shrirang Godbole (of Indian Magic Eye Motion Pictures) and I first sat down to decide on a subject, we couldn't finalise any story. But when we did finalise it and got down to working, it was business as usual," he says.

Pitru Roon is based on a Kannada short story by Sudha Murthy. With actors Sachin Khedekar and Tanuja essaying important roles in the film, Bharadwaj says the story is about love, loss, redemption, failure and a myriad sea of human emotions. "It cannot be defined as a particular type because it has a lot of shades. Both Sachin and Tanuja bring a wealth of experience and depth to the characters. The first shoot has been completed in Wai. We being the next from the first week of April in Pune," he adds.

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