For almost a month before his meeting with the renowned award-winning Marathi author Bhalchandra Nemade, city-based Akshay Indikar has been practising in front of a mirror every day how he would interact with the veteran writer, known for serious Marathi literature works such as Kosala (Cocoon) and Hindu.
However, when the meeting finally happened over one-and-a-half years ago, Indikar was surprised to see Nemade’s easygoing nature. “That time, I was working on a film project named ‘Yatra’ in which I wanted to use one of his poems. At the same time, I was keen on making a film on him and his oeuvres. I didn’t really have to ‘convince’ him to do the project; he gave a go-ahead instantly when I mentioned what was going on in my mind,” recollects Indikar, who has made a docu-fiction named ‘Udaharanarth Nemade’ that chronicles life and works of Nemade.
While the film was shot in August and September, currently the project is in a post-production stage. Indikar plans to release it on May 27, the birthday of Nemade, who is 78 years old.
“I came in touch with Nemade’s works when I read Kosala years ago, when I was studying in 12th class. Just like the protagonist of the story – Pandurang Sangvikar – I too had shifted from Solapur to Pune and had got a social-cultural shock. I could relate with the theme of alienation in the story. The way it was handled in Kosala was something that was never attempted before in Marathi literature. What’s commendable is that Kosala was written by him in 15 days at the age of 25,” says 24-year-old Indikar, adding, he consciously opted to stay away from making a regular documentary and added a touch of fiction to it. “However, the fictional character in the film too is a character from his book itself. So the viewer gets to know his characters too,” he clarifies.
There are various reasons that drew him towards the idea of making a film based on him. “His works are full of cinematic expressions. I strongly felt that they needed to be told in a visual medium. For instance, his book ‘Hindu’ covers a journey of over 5,000 years. There’s so much to explore visually. Although the film does not talk about all his works per se — it’s a vast collection — yet it gives a glimpse into his creations by portraying the art and the artiste,” says Indikar.
There’s a generous use of folk music in the film as Nemade very often talked about it in many of his works. So, one can find a liberal use of ‘dhangari ovya’ (shepherd songs), Khandesh vahi (a way of storytelling that through dance, music and narrative) and so on in the film. Nemade, said Indikar, had been very supportive throughout the project. The film was shot in Dongar Sangivi, Yaval, Jalgaon at Nemade’s house in his native village.