Bargad by The Lallantop: Hear the Maharatis Speak about their Lives and Craft

If you liked my recommendation of Rang Pandhari, then you would love Bargad too. It’s a chat show but not your regular chat show. This will take you back to the Akashvani and Doordarshan days where the hosts opened the book of the artists’ lives for you to read. I remember some film magazines used to title the short interviews of the actors as ‘Up, Close, and Personal.’ Bargad redefines ‘Up, Close, and Personal.’

Why am I calling the 2-page magazine interviews short? Because Bargad is a 2+ hours show where senior actors like Seema Pahwa, Ratna Pathak, Sheeba Chaddha, Ashish Vidyarthi share their life stories with you. The pace of the show is so good that you don’t even realize that you have been watching the show for more than 2 hours. Even after the time is up, you don’t want the show to end. Mainly because there is so much to learn from these personalities, not only about acting or theatre but about life on the whole. 

I recently watched Seema Pahwa’s interview where she spoke about how she couldn’t complete her education but what she learned from the experience is much greater than what any school or college would have taught her. She had no regrets in life and that is something that is powerful enough to change anyone’s perspective towards life. What people who couldn’t afford to go to school or college learn from the life that is served to them is truly praiseworthy. There are more such inspiring stories in her interview that make you drop everything you are doing, sit back, and simply listen to her. 

Similar was Ratna Pathak’s interview where she discussed her family, especially how her Mother being a popular actress affected her life, in both positive and negative ways. She also spoke about the religious disharmony and the changing views of people around that shock and shatter her from time and again. 

Apart from the life experiences, actors’ personal views and opinions on different matters concerning the society, this show also gives you an in-depth insight into the theatre and film industry. As I said in my article for Rang Pandhari, as an outsider, all we see is a glamorous industry and successful lives but we often fail to see the blood and sweat that these actors put into their craft. And this you wouldn’t learn from today’s actors or the so-called superstars like Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Akshay Kumar – No! This analysis and understanding of theatre and also acting can only come from people you only saw as “character actors.” In her interview, Seema Pahwa spoke about how she studies her character and sketch its personality. We were watching Hey Shona song on YouTube the other day and my mom quickly said, ‘The way Seema Pahwa spoke about researching her role, she puts so much effort into a character role, and today’s heroines, they just research their looks. They change their hairstyle and their jobs are done.’ This is so true. There are very few actors who become the character they are playing. I am talking about the lead actors here. Our actors who the industry calls ‘supporting actors’ still do a fab job. But the ones who play the lead, it’s like they get everything served on a silver plate and hence no efforts are being seen in their work. Where the yesteryear actors put in their souls into their work, today’s actors do not even study the top layer of their roles. 

Shows like Bargad put in the spotlight the Maharatis, the forgotten heroes of the TV and film industry. This is what makes such shows special. The free workshops for actors, as I like to call them. 

Another plus point of this show is that all the interviews are done online but they are so well-edited that you do not feel like this is virtual work. It’s smooth and flawless.

Till now, only 8 episodes are out. I hope with time, we will get to see more actors share their stories and expertise on the show. 

Where to Watch? YouTube

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