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Shutdown Stories: Nipun Dharmadhikari is busy with the household chores

Between chores, actor-writer-director Dharmadhikari is also watching documentaries on Netflix and plans to read the Mahabharata.

Suyog Zore

With the country shut for 21 days in an attempt to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus disease) pandemic, people are trying different methods to keep themselves busy. Film and stage personality Nipun Dharmadhikari has found an interesting, if not entirely novel, method to keep himself busy. He is spending most of his time in the break performing household chores.

"At the moment I am quite busy with my home chores," Dharmadhikari told Cinestaan.com on the phone. "I'm doing everything from cooking to washing clothes. I have also decided to clean my house in this lockdown period. This is my daily routine now."

The actor-writer-director, an anchor along with actor Amey Wagh on the web celebrity chat show Casting Couch and founder of a theatre group called Natak Company has worn multiple hats in his career and excelled at each task he has taken up. Starting out as a playwright and director at age 16 with Cyle, a play that won him many awards, Nipun Dharmadhikari went on to became a household name in Pune's vibrant theatre circuit. He was also named in the Forbes list of 30 under 30 for his contribution in reviving musical plays.

The 32-year-old was busy with the post-production work on his upcoming directorial venture, Mee Vasantrao (2020), before the lockdown was announced. "At the moment we are trying to do as much work from home as possible, "Dharmadhikari said, "but there are a few restrictions with respect to working from home. You have to meet people, you have to go to the studios for post-production. That's just not possible in this scenario."

Asked if the film's release is likely to be postponed, he said, "Most likely, yes. Though we haven't arrived at that decision yet. We are still looking at our options and will make an official announcement regarding this soon."

Mee Vasantrao is a biographical musical drama based on the life of legendary classical singer Vasantrao Deshpande. This is Dharmadhikari's third film as director after Baapjanma (2017) and Dhappa (2019). Both films were critically acclaimed.

Asked what else he is doing after he completes the household chores to keep himself busy, the director replied with a chuckle: "Nothing much. I'm trying to keep myself busy reading books and watching new documentaries."

Dharmadhikari is planning to read the Mahabharata. "Currently, I'm thinking of reading the Mahabharata," he said. "I have realized that my knowledge of the Mahabharata is limited to the old Doordarshan National television programme and tales our grandparents used to tell us. I'm sure there is so much more to it than what we have seen in serials. I hope I can explore a lot of things in the Mahabharata that I missed out when I was a child."

As for the documentaries he is exploring, Dharmadhikari said, "Right now I'm watching Dirty Money on Netflix. It's a thrilling six-part documentary series on corruption. So I'm really into that now."

And what about writing new scripts? "I have written a few stories, so now I am thinking of doing something with those but I haven't yet sat down to go through all of those stories. Soon I'll go through all the stories again and see if I can do anything with them."

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Coronavirus Shutdown Stories