Actress Amrita Rao who prides in been born and brought up in Mumbai took time during the lockdown for her special salutations to the State on the occasion of Maharashtra Day. May 1st is annually marked to commemorate the creation of Maharashtra from the State of Bombay on May 1, in the year 1960.
Amrita shares, “Mumbai which happens to be the heart of Maharashtra has been my ‘Janma’ and ‘Karma’ Bhoomi. Even my grandmother was born here so I feel blessed to be a proud citizen of the state. In school, Marathi was a compulsory subject, hence though my mother tongue is Konkani and we are originally from Karnataka, I can speak good Marathi. As a kid, I have witnessed the parade that is held and the address of the governor at Shivaji Park in our summer holidays. I have grown up watching Marathi plays at Shivaji Mandir like Dilip Prabhawalkar’s Haswa Phaswi, Bhakti Bharwe’s last rendition on Tee Phool Raani, and the outstanding play on Shivaji Maharaj – Jaanta Raja at Shivaji Park. I loved listening to Bheemsen Joshi Ji’s ‘Natyasangeet’. Maybe the seeds of being an artist were sown in my sub-conscious then.”
Amrita essayed the character of Meenatai Thackeray last year in the biopic of Balasaheb Thackeray which was shot simultaneously in Marathi and Hindi. The film follows the life of the founder of an Indian political party and was released right after his 93rd birthday. Balasaheb’s father Keshav Sitaram Thackeray, was a leading figure in the Samyukta Maharashtra movement which advocated the creation of a separate state. The movement ultimately leads to the creation of the state thus leading to Maharashtra Day celebrations.
The film will be aired today at prime time on a leading channel specially designed for the Maharashtrian audience. The film strives to celebrate the deep-rooted sense of pride in Marathi ethos making it a rare treat and is a perfect movie to watch and celebrate the day of Maharashtra pride feels Amrita. “Strange are the ways of destiny, as a teen, I have taken countless rounds of Shivaji Park and walked past Meenatai’s iconic statue. I could never imagine portraying on the celluloid; a woman who was the strongest pillar of the family who played the most important part in the creation of the very state in which I was born” says the actress.
“I love the street food like Wada Paav, Misal Paav, Kothmir Wade, Zhunka Bhakar. Also in clothing, the Paithani Saree or footwear like the Kolhapuri Chappal has been an integral part of my life. Maharashtra is the land of great Maratha warriors and Sri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who saved not only Maharashtra but India from being invaded by foreigners. I have visited many forts to pay my obeisance to Shivaji Maharaj like the Raigarh fort where Shivaji was coronated, and the Singhagarh fort in Pune. I strongly feel that Balasaheb Thackeray could have been an ansh of Shivaji Maharaj. ‘Thackeray’ also marks my proud debut in Marathi Cinema. The makers are definitely planning a sequel and It would be an extended honor to be a part of it again. Jai Maharashtra!” exclaimed a jovial Amrita as she signed off.