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Web-series Pandu explores the human side of Mumbai cops, says director Sarang Sathaye

Starring Suhas Sirsat and Deepak Shirke, the web-series is co-directed by Anusha Nandakumar. 

Keyur Seta

Hindi cinema has generally portrayed two categories of cops – the larger-than-life characters like Chulbul Pandey from the Dabangg series and Bajirao Singham or the utterly realistic like ones like Anant Velankar from Ardha Satya (1983) and Amit Kumar from Gangaajal (2003). But the Marathi web-series Pandu will be showing a third side of the Mumbai cops. 

Sarang Sathaye, one of the directors of the series, said at its trailer launch, “We either see them solving some crime or getting involved in corruption. We have limited them to this in cinema. But the real policeman is very human like us. He wants to bring up his kid and go to his parents-teachers’ meeting. Likewise, there are human sides which we have tried exploring here.”

Pandu stars Suhas Sirsat and veteran actor Deepak Shirke in lead roles along with Abish Mathew, Trupti Khamkar and Prasad Reddy. It will start streaming on MX Player from 20 September. It is co-directed by Anusha Nandakumar. 

Anusha Nandakumar, Suhas Sirsat, Deepak Shirke and Sarang Sathaye at the trailer launch

The word ‘pandu’ is generally used to take a dig at cops in Maharashtra but that is not the case in this series. “Like ‘ghaati,’ we use the word ‘Pandu’ in some other way. But actually it is the identity [of cops]. They stand like [lord] Pandurang behind us. It is based on such officers,” added Sathaye. 

Sathaye runs the popular Marathi digital channel Bharatiya Digital Party or BhaDiPa. As an actor, he played the role of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray in Mahesh Manjrekar’s Bhaai: Vyakti Kee Valli (2019), the biopic on P L Deshpande. 

He also added that he was apprehensive to approach Shirke as he wasn’t sure if he would agree to be a part. “I had called him fearfully and asked he if would like to work [with us]. At that time I didn’t know if this would happen but [Shirke] is here and that was great,” he said. 


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