Zee Theater retells the classic stories of Manto and Parsai

KBC Horizontal_EFK & MB_V2

Sulena Majumdar Arora

Veteran actors Vineet Kumar and Gopal Dutt read out ‘Mammad Bhai’ and ‘Ek Film Katha’ in Seema Pahwa’s directorial anthology, presented by Zee Theatre.
Koi Baat Chale, a thought-provoking, literary anthology featuring six classic stories by iconic writers Manto and Parsai, has almost come to an end. Under the promise of ‘Har Din Naya Drama’, the next two stories are among the best stories of Hindi literature. Directed by the multi-talented Seema Pahwa, well-known TV star and director, the episodes will feature theater experts Gopal Dutt and Vineet Kumar.

Gopal Dutt is to narrate ‘Ek Film Katha’ by Harishankar Parsai, a satire on typical Hindi cinema, which always has a heroic hero, a damsel in distress and a villain who nips a blossoming love story in the bud .This is a scathing satire on the common bollywood films.  Vineet Kumar will narrate Manto’s short story ‘Mammad Bhai’, a story of a Robin Hood-like gangster who is very proud of his dagger and his moustache. One day, however, circumstances force them to give up both of their pride and the audience is left to wonder if Mamad Bhai will ever be the same again.
Director Seema Pahwa says, “Associating Koi Baat Chale with Zee Theater has been an incredible journey and these two stories end the anthology on a perfect note.  Ek Film Katha’ and ‘Hammad Bhai’ reveal how these stories were unique in their own right. 

Harishankar Parsai and Manto used popular culture to show us different aspects of society. Gopal and Vineet were the right choices as narrators and actors as they gave their own touch to these stories. I am sure the audience will really enjoy the little nuances that he has brought through their narrations.
NSD alumnus and theater enthusiast Gopal Dutt, who is also a part of Zee TV and OTT shows, says, “Parsai’s humor in ‘Ek Film Katha’ is sharp, penetrating and relatable. Being a trained theater actor, initially, the plot of the film seemed a bit different. But when I started reading, I felt that there was a certain joyful energy in the story that carried the audience along. I really enjoyed telling this story because it reminded me of those 80s movies that we thoroughly enjoyed despite their many flaws, random song sequences and forced fight scenes.
Actor Vineet Kumar, a notable NSD alumnus and known for his roles in films like ‘Masaan’, says, “The fascinating thing about the story ‘Mammad Bhai’ is that ‘Manto wrote  it in 1956, much before Mumbai Noir became popular. ‘The main character of the story ‘Mammad Bhai’ is a gangster and this character is exactly like the characters that have appeared in our films and OTT shows much later. Mammad Bhai can be a template for such characters. He  is also a fascinating human even though he is a criminal. Narrating this story was truly enthralling and I am thrilled that Zee Theatre is reviving such timeless stories for the current generation to enjoy.”