Mak does a Spielberg

With his third sequel, Sir and Sarla are back for another round of Makarand’s favourite love triangle



If sequels in films are rare, then those in theatre are almost unheard of (unless you count the 1985 old Wada Chirebandi in Marathi).Yet Makarand Deshpande-`Sir’ himself, launched a sequel (Sir Sir Sarla II) to his Sir Sir Sarla, and is following it up by a Sir Sir Sarla III in the second week of February. Even more surprising still, is that ‘Mak’, in days when theatre goes largely unwatched, has gotten full houses.
“In part one my character, of an unrequited lover, took everyone by surprise,” laughs film writer and director Anurag Kashyap, who plays one of the lead roles in all three productions, “And then Makarand very intelligently left the character unresolved. That’s what made people come back to see part II.” Funnily enough, his character continued to remain unresolved at the end of part II as well. So that should ensure a full house in III as well.
For his part Deshpande, wrote Sir Sir Sarla II three years after the first part. “I began to question the concreteness of my character’s plights at the end of part I,” he claims, “And realised that they would’ve grown over a span of time and the life they represented would’ve changed completely. I had to revisit them.”
Another reason audiences claim to want to revisit this play is its characters. While ru
mours abound about real life theatre people that the characters are based on, Deshpande only half agrees, “I don’t derive my inspiration straight from life. The characters have been taken from directors I’ve worked with, but also from my professors, and the relationship I share with my actors. It’s based on our life, not work.” The playwright does admit that Kashyap’s character is based on how the Black Friday director was in 2001. “He’s the most intelligent person I know, yet he can be ridiculously funny,” he elucidates. “There was a lot of me in Fanidhar (his character) in part I, but I’ve changed since then,” Kashyap replies, “But the character made me know myself a lot more.”
Similarly Sonali Kulkarni’s character, Sarla has journeyed because she has moved in her life. “I wasn’t affected by Sarla off stage but my character grew because of my life experiences,” she sums up.
Deshpande’s on-the-spot improvisations is another audience pleaser- especially those with Kashyap. “We are very in tune with each other as actors,” Deshpande smiles when asked, “So we can pull this off. Art reflects life!” Kashyap feels these gigs get a bit much for other actors to cope with though. Like when he and Deshpande “look into each others eyes and go on improvising” till they feel they’ve gone way overboard.


It’s to sir with love and a twist. Professor Palekar is attracted to his student Sarla (played by Sonali Kulkarni) who in turn crazy about him. Enter Fanidhar the other man in Saral’s life who has an unrequited love for her. Things get twisted further when Proff Palekrar takes matters into hand and marries her off to a third party leaving them all at the edge of desire.

In this one Fanidhar’s older, (more mature) and has two students of his own. A déjà vu happens with the same situation being played out again. This time Fanidhar is ‘Sir’. And when Sarla and Palekar return it complicates matters further.

What if ‘Sir’ had married Sarla? Fanidhar announces that he’ll marry his student. Also involved are more students and a politician called Kashinath besides… you got it! Sarl and Palekar.

This article first appeared in Mumbai Mirror, Times Of India:


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