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Theatre exponents Vineet Kumar and Gopal Datt narrate stories of Manto and Parsai in Zee Theatre’s Koi Baat Chale

Munshi Premchand's short stories in Zee Theatre's anthology 'Koi Baat Chale'

The actors read ‘Mammad Bhai,’ and ‘Ek Film Katha’ in this Seema Pahwa’s Directorial Anthology

‘Koi Baat Chale,’ Zee Theatre’s evocative, literary anthology featuring six stories of iconic writers has almost reached its end. Under the promise of ‘Har Din Naya Drama’, the next two stories are bringing the best of Hindi Literature. Directed by the multi-talented Seema Pahwa, these episodes will feature theatre exponents Gopal Datt and Vineet Kumar.

Gopal Datt will narrate Harishankar Parsai’s ‘Ek Film Katha’, a satire on run-of-the-mill Hindi cinema that hilariously revisits the cliched plot of a gallant hero, a heroine in distress and a villain who wants to nip a love story in the bud. Vineet Kumar will narrate Manto’s ‘Mammad Bhai,’ the tale of a Robin Hood-like gangster who is very proud of his dagger and his moustache. One day, however, circumstances force him to give up both and the audience is left wondering if Mammad Bhai will ever be the same.

The stories are part of Zee Theatre’s promise of ‘Har Din Naya Drama’ and will be premiered at Tata Play Theatre on 19th March at 2 pm & 8 pm.

Director Seema Pahwa says, “To put together ‘Koi Baat Chale’ with Zee Theatre 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 manner.

Harishankar Parsai and Manto tapped into popular culture to show us different aspects of society. Gopal and Vineet were the perfect choices as they brought their own touch to these stories. I am sure the audience will really enjoy the little nuances they have brought through their narrations.”

Gopal Datt, an NSD alumnus and theatre enthusiast who is also part of TV and OTT shows says, “Parsai’s humour in ‘Ek Film Katha’ is penetrating and relatable. Being a trained theatre actor, initially, the film plots did seem a bit far-fetched to me. But when I started narrating, I felt they have a certain enjoyable energy that takes the audience along with it. I enjoyed narrating this story because it reminded me of films from the 80s that we enjoyed despite their flaws, the random song sequences, and the mandatory fight sequences.”

Actor Vineet Kumar, a notable NSD alumnus, who is well-known for his roles in movies like Masaan, says, “What is fascinating about ‘Mammad Bhai’ is that Manto wrote it in 1956, much before Mumbai Noire became popular. ‘Mammad Bhai’ is a gangster and could be the template for similar characters that came much later in our films and OTT shows. He is also a fascinating human even though he is a criminal. Narrating this story was truly enthralling and am thrilled that Zee Theatre is reviving such timeless stories for the current generation to enjoy.”