Finally we have a genuine celebrity in our family. Prachiti Mhatre, a very close relative, bagged the lead role in Nitin Desai’s Shrimant Peshwe Bajirao Mastani telecast on ETV Marathi every day at 9pm. The series kicked off on June 14th and the reviews have been good. Apparently, Sanjay Leela Bansali’s plans to make a movie based on these characters never saw the light of the day. Perhaps that is a good thing. Imagine Mastani running through Pune screaming Devaaaaa! However, the story of Bajirao and Mastani is quite interesting and would make for amazing television in the period-drama-crazy India and more specifically, Marathi-speaking people.
As far as I know, Aditya had done a podcast with Gautam Rajadkhysha, the renowned glamor photographer for Bollywood, and he offered to shoot a portfolio for Prachiti. That portfolio naturally landed her several ad campaigns, print and television. Armed with that experience and portfolio, she auditioned for Nitin Desai’s next period drama Baajirao Mastani. Selected from over 89 girls, Prachiti successfully made the cut. She was Desai’s first-impression pick and after successfully navigating through screen tests, she bagged the role purely on her merits.
Prachiti tells me that she had a great experience and along with acting lessons, she also had to learn Kathak (Indian classical dance), sword-fighting and horse-riding in spite of the fact that she is scared to death of animals including our dogs at home. Everyone at the sets at Karjat, a mere 20 minutes drive from our home in Panvel, was extremely helpful and nice to her. Sometimes my mom or Aditya accompanied her for late-night shoots but she was mostly alone and worked hard on every aspect of her role. She studied history books and immersed herself completely in the role of Mastani. She has enjoyed full support of her family. We are extremely proud of her achievement and very excited to see how the TV series fares. Obviously, she has been getting wide press coverage in local and regional media outlets. We finally have a real celebrity in our family.
I’m attaching few photos from the sets of BaajiRao Mastani including some banners that you can see on buses across Mumbai. I’m not sure I will be able to watch the series here in the U.S. and hope someone is recording it somehow. If you happen to watch it in India, please let me know if you liked it; Prachiti would love to know.
[promo images source: mbol.in]