Popular actor Anangsha Biswas was delighted to play the titular character in Zee Theatre’s teleplay ‘Kusum Manohar Lele’. The play will be available on Airtel Spotlight throughout this month.
Says Anangsha, “It’s a dream for an actor to perform such a complex character. Kusum is really layered and complicated but at the root of her behavior is the simple craving for a child. This need becomes so powerful and undeniable that the line between right and wrong becomes blurred for Kusum.”
Kusum Manohar Lele is based on a true incident in Pune when a young Sujata unknowingly marries a married man Manohar Lele. The marriage to Sujata was a set up by Manohar and his first wife Kusum only for a child. Kusum was unable to conceive and that is when the plan to have Manohar marry another for a child was hatched.
One of the key scenes in the play really challenged her as a performer and she shares, “The scene when Kusum loses her baby to Sujata was supremely cathartic for me. A lot of her pain and desperation stem from the fact that society even today questions a woman’s womanhood if she can’t have children. She almost loses rationality to prove a point to her detractors. To show the onset of this delusion in a subtle way was very challenging.”
About the discipline of theatre, she says, “I owe so much to theatre as it has not only helped me as a performer but also as a human. It has taught me humility and to respect time. It has made me confident about my craft and to be a lifelong learner. I now know that as an actor, you can never know it all and are constantly a work in progress.”
The play is directed by Rajan Tamhane and also stars Shweta Basu Prasad, Gagan Dev Riar, Savita Prabhune, Sneha Chavan and Suneel Pushkarna.