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Curtains up on rare bond

- Bokaro boy Zahid as Daddy

There’s hardly a father or a daughter anywhere who has watched Daddy, the 1989 film starring Anupam Kher and Pooja Bhatt and directed by Mahesh Bhatt, without eyes welling up.

The film, made especially for television, marked the debut of 17-year-old Pooja who essayed a heart-warming role of a sheltered, rich girl coming into contact with her estranged father and gradually helping him overcome his alcoholism and regain his stature as a singer.

Now, Bhatt’s theatrical adaptation of Daddy will debut at Shriram Centre, New Delhi, on Monday, with Bokaro boy Imran Zahid in the lead.

Written by Mahesh Bhatt, directed by Danish Iqbal and produced by Sandiip Kapur, Daddy, the play, is 90 minutes long. Rajesh Kumar has done the theatrical adaptation from the film.

Zahid apart, two Delhi actors Tanya and Simran will play the role of the daughter.

“I am so nervous. In Daddy I will play the father, a role for which Anupam Kher received the National Award. This will be a very big challenge for me. And Pooja Bhatt, who had made her screen debut with the film, has confirmed that she will be a part of the audience for the play’s premiere on August 4. That makes me all the more nervous,” Zahid told The Telegraph over the phone from New Delhi.

An alumnus of DAV Bokaro, Zahid continues to be a Mahesh Bhatt favourite ever since he decided to hit the stage around three years ago.

Zahid has been cast in the lead in all theatrical ventures promoted by Bhatt since 2011, starting with The Last Salute (2011), Trial of Errors (2012), Arth (2013) and Daddy now.

“I shall also play the lead in yet another Mahesh Bhatt play, Zakhm, a theatrical adaptation of his 1998 film of the same name. There, Ajay Devgn, who had played a tormented man born of mixed parentage, had won the National Award. To portray a character from one of Mahesh Bhatt’s films is always rewarding,” Zahid said.

Producer Kapur was equally enthusiastic. “When I began producing plays with Bhatt saab I did not know this association would be so enriching,” he said.


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