Tracing a Legend

MasalaLagoo was last seen Masala in 2012.

Marathi actor Shriram Lagoo's autobiography captures his journey as an actor.

Noted filmmaker Jabbar Patel has always been a man of the moment. With critically-acclaimed Marathi films such as Jait Re Jait, Saamna and Umbartha to his credit, Patel has always been comfortable at public events. But on Thursday evening, at the dimly lit theatre of the National Film Archives of India, Patel admitted it was one of the most unique situations he had ever faced in life. Attending the launch of legendary Marathi actor Shriram Lagoo's biography Roopavedh, Patel said, "I am faced with a unique situation. Doctor Lagoo is my guru, and here I am, presiding over his book launch event." Other noted personalities who gathered for the launch included Narendra Dabholkar, Ramdas Bhatkal and Jyoti Subhash.

Written and compiled by Lagoo himself, Roopavedh traces his journey as an actor, with his unique critique of Indian theatre and cinema from the '60s to '90s through essays, articles and interviews. Pune-based Lagoo, who has acted in a number of Marathi, Hindi and English films, is well-known for his portrayal of Professor Gokhale in Sir Richard Attenborough's Gandhi (1982). In Marathi cinema, his performances were critically acclaimed in V Shantaram's Pinjra (1972) and Patel's Saamna (1974).

Making a mark in Marathi theatre, Lagoo was the first to act in VV Shirvadkar's epic play Natasamrat. He portrayed the role of an actor who has retired from his public life and honoured with the prestigious Natasamrat award for his contribution to theatre. The story begins with his speech at the award function and goes through various stages of his retired life after the award. The pitiful lament by an old man "Mala ghar deta ka, ghar" (Will someone give me a house), has been made immortal by Lagoo ever since.

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