In the film ‘Janma Rin’ we have not blamed the young generation... - Kanchan Adhikari (Writer and director)

Kanchan Adhikari, a versatile talent, has had a long journey. While being a theater artist, she worked at the Bank of India and Doordarshan. After making a name for herself as an actress by acting in many plays

By Bollyy
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Kanchan Adhikari, a versatile talent, has had a long journey. While being a theater artist, she worked at the Bank of India and Doordarshan. After making a name for herself as an actress by acting in many plays, serials, and films, Kanchan Adhikari entered the field of direction with the serial 'Damini' in 1995. After that, she directed many serials. Now she is coming up with the Marathi language film 'Janma Rin' as a director.

Here are the excerpts from the conversation with Kanchan Adhikari for Mayapuri Patrika...

How did you become an actress and director after becoming an air hostess?

  • I was born and brought up in a Konkani Maharashtrian highly educated family. Therefore, education was being given importance at our house. My parents wanted me to complete my graduation and get married to a good family. Have a family where there is no shortage of anything. My parents never thought about what I wanted, what I was thinking, what I desired. But my parents are not conservative but open-minded/forward-thinking. So they never stopped me from doing any work. But you must also know that forty years ago the environment was not like today. But in those days I was also doing drama. I also wanted to become an air hostess. I was also given an interview once to become an air hostess. Perhaps there is even an 'aptitude test' in which I failed. Because of this, I was dismissed from the job of air hostess. Then I started paying more attention to plays. Even at that time, Marathi Theater was quite prosperous. Many celebrities from Marathi Theater including Reema Lagoo, Nana Patekar, Vijaya Mehta, Vijay Tendulkar, Rohini Hattangadi, Jaydev Hattangadi, and Sulabha Deshpande also shone in cinema. Jaydev Hattangadi and Rohini Hattangadi had come to Mumbai for NSD training and were doing acting workshops here. So I also took training in this workshop. There was the Aviskar Group, in which people like Arvind Deshpande, Sulabha Deshpande, and Vijay Tendulkar were associated. I also did a workshop with the Aaviskaar Group. Then I acted in Jaidev Hattangadi's play called 'Media'. The lead character was played by Rohini Hattangadi. In those days, the atmosphere of the theater was so good that we actors did not think about how tall the character was. Or I didn't have the wisdom to think about how much money I would get. Only one thing remained in mind every day in the evening I had to go to the theatre. That was an amazing trip. In those days, Maharashtra State Theater used to reward those who did good work, which was considered very valuable. Meanwhile, my father told me that whatever I wanted to do, I should do it on my own. He was under pressure to get a job somewhere. This was the period when I also needed money. Then I got a job at the 'Bank of India'. There was a probation period of six months. In the fourth month, a play was sent to the Maharashtra State Drama Award competition on behalf of our bank, in which I also got the opportunity to act. I got the Best Actress award. Meaning, my destiny was making me do all this. However, as soon as I received the award, my job became permanent. 

  • After that, I did my first professional play with great actors like Bhakti Barve, and Dilip Prabhavalkar. We did more than three hundred shows of this play. Then Bhakti Barve told me that I should join Mumbai Doordarshan. She took me with her to Doordarshan Kendra, where I took a screen test and got a job at Doordarshan. Shafi Inamdar used to come to watch my play, and because of him I got the opportunity to act in the TV serial 'Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi'. Then I acted in the serial 'Bante Badrte' with Paresh Rawal, Ajit Vachani, and Rita Bhaduri. Then did ‘Titliyan’ of Nadira Babbar’s group. After that, I acted in Sarita Sethi's serial 'Aur Bhi Hain Rahe'. Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi allowed me to act in the serial 'Chanakya'. But I could not work in this serial. Because then I met Markand Adhikari ji and I got married to him. To respect his wishes, I stayed away from acting. But before marriage, I did Kiran Shantaram's Marathi film 'Balache Baap Brahmachari', the shooting of which I completed after marriage. There were many great actors including Ashok Saraf and Laxmikant Berde. We shot it in Raj Kamal Studio. I consider myself lucky that I had the opportunity to touch the feet of Shantaram. We also saw Sandhya ji.

I had no godfather then. But I was just concentrating on acting without paying attention to the length of my character. I used to try to add something from my side even in a small role. I always tried to do something new. I did some plays including 'Sapne' in Dinesh Thakur's 'Ank' group, thus my journey continued. Rajshree Production also offered me work. I also acted in a Marathi film by Kiran Shantaram and Baba Kadam. When Arvind Lad, the cameraman of the film 'Maine Pyar Kiya', directed the film, I acted in it too. I have also done a film with Dada Kondke, we shot this film in Hyderabad, and it featured Shakti Kapoor and some heroines from the South. You know that there were double-meaning dialogues in Dada Kondke's films. After marriage, I entered the field of direction in 1995 with the serial 'Damini'. Directed many serials. Also did writing. Now I have come up with the Marathi film 'Janma Rin' as a director.

Where did you get the seed of the story of the film ‘Janma Rin’?

  • This film is based on true events. A few years ago, a parent provided a good education to his son. The son went to America after completing his studies. One day after a few years, he came back and asked his parents to come with him to America forever and got the house, etc. sold. He bought a plane ticket and reached the airport with his parents. But after dropping his parents at the airport, he went to America alone. The parents were left without money. Completely helpless. He could not understand what to do. This news was published in newspapers. The Kolhapur resident writer had written a book on this. He sent two or three of his books to me. I read this book of his. The end of this book was limited to the boy leaving his parents abandoned. The thought came to my mind that a film should be made on this, but the question was how to make it. Then I did my research. Google revealed that thirty-two thousand children had done this kind of thing with their parents. That's why I named the film 'Janma Rin'. Because it is the responsibility of every child to repay the birth debt of the birth parents. Despite all your responsibilities, you also have some responsibility towards your parents. This is a very touchy subject. But we have not blamed the young generation in the film. Because the young generation also has its problems. Everyone works hard. There are many avenues open in front of them, but there is also a lot of competition. If there is a young RJ, he also has to compete with all the other radio channels. Amin Sayani had laid the foundation, but today it is very difficult to achieve a position equal to his. Therefore, it would be wrong to say that son, we have educated you, and so you should pay full attention to us. Everyone needs all kinds of facilities. It was not like this in our time. At that time we did not feel the need for material facilities. At that time we used to play hide and seek, gilli danda, etc. on the road, but now it is not seen like this. So times have changed. Human needs have also increased with time. Today no child can see the joy of being connected to the soil. Now only slum children get this.

Don't you think that after the breakdown of the joint family, the parents in the nuclear family are working, due to which the child remains alone and keeps moving away from his parents?

- You are correct. We often see that after growing up, the child says to his parents, what have you done for me? I have achieved all this on my strength. But he forgets that his abilities emerged when his parents sent him to a good school and gave him good clothes to wear. A lot of facilities have been provided to him since childhood. The parents provided resources for the child by reducing their facilities, only then did he become capable of standing on his own. No child should forget that the ability he has developed is due to the hard work of his parents. The mother stays awake all night, holding her finger and teaching her to walk. No one should forget this ‘Rin’.

How did you select the artists?

  • We selected Manoj Joshi ji in the role of father. He is a very good artist. His biggest quality is that he reads scripts. I like such artists only. I don't go to the sets without a bound script. I worked on writing a script for one to one and a half years. When you watch the film, you will see that his entire face and hair on his head have been created with prosthetic makeup. His look is completely like the country's Home Minister Amit Shah. This decision was taken by Manoj Joshi himself. Manoj Joshi himself told me, 'Kanchan, leave my look to me, I want to look like Amit Shah in this film. Then he said that he would get the prosthetic makeup done at his convenience and I need not worry about its expenses. I thought it was a good thing that the actor himself was taking an interest in crafting his character. Then Sukanya Kulkarni plays the role of mother. I have worked with him many times. He is a natural artist. There was no need to apply glycerin during crying scenes. She would automatically start crying after getting immersed in the character. Sukanya Kulkarni and Manoj Joshi worked together thirty years ago. Now after thirty years, this pair is back in my film ‘Janma Loan’. An experienced artist does not need to say much on the set.

What is the USP of the film 'Janma Rin'?

The biggest USP of our film ‘Janma Rin’ is its story. Apart from this, we have shot this film in Dhapoli, about 150 to 200 kilometers away from Mumbai. The environment and seashore there is very good. We have done more shooting with drones. The seashore of Dhapoli is similar to the seashore of Konkan. Blue water, blue sky. There are coconut and areca nut trees on top. I drove drones on the highway. The ‘T2’ terminal of Mumbai airport is quite expensive. But we shot here also. We shot with Manoj Joshi, Sukanya Kulkarni and Mahesh Thakur at T2 Terminal. We had earlier also done a serial of 52 episodes with Mahesh Thakur.

How much does location help while making a film on a story?

- Helps a lot. We shot it in the Konkan region, where very big houses are not found. The people here are less satisfied. Even though they have plenty of money. They earn good income from coconut and areca nut trees. His lifestyle is very simple. The house we had chosen did not have a tiled roof, so we spent our own money and got such a roof installed. Because I should have seen the same roof in the drone shot. There is more rainfall in the Konkan region, due to which the roof of the house is not flat.

What will the audience take with them after watching the film ‘Janma Rin?

- We have not made a speech-based film to give sermons. We have also depicted the problems of the young generation. When a youth goes abroad, he faces the problem of finding a home there. He lives like a paying guest, who has his problems. He has to spend a large part of his salary on house rent and food. So, it is a depiction of their problems. We have not blamed anyone in the film itself, but have shown both sides. Now the audience will decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. There is also a clash of generations.


- Shantiswarup Tripathi

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