Romancing Manto

Rasika Dugal, on playing writer Saadat Hasan Manto’s wife in Nandita Das’ next film.

Published: 15th July 2016 05:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2016 05:31 PM   |  A+A-


RASIKA Dugal’s acting career is well placed at the moment. The Qissa actor is excited about her next film, Nandita Das’ Manto. Based on the life of popular writer, Saadat Hasan Manto, it has Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead role, while Dugal will be seen playing Safia, his wife. They will start shooting for the film next January. Dugal, who read several Urdu and progressive writers of the same era as Manto to fit her role, says, “It is very interesting to know the journey of a writer for sure, but it is also very interesting to see the people who were a part of that journey.

Those are the roles which are highly nuanced. And I have heard that Safia and Manto shared a very good camaraderie.

How their lives changed after partition is an interesting topic to explore.”


Random acts

Dugal’s acting career was an unplanned one. Having graduated from Delhi University in 2004, she had done a lot of theatre in college but was never serious about it. When she was working as a research assistant in Mumbai, she learned that the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) was restarting its acting course after 26 years. Curious, she signed up. “When you are young, you want to explore a lot of things. I applied just for fun, but six months into the course I realised that this is something I want to do for a very long time,” shares Dugal, who started her career in 2007 with the film, Anwar.


Spy love

The 31-year-old will soon be seen in a web series by The Viral Fever (TVF) and an Indian adaptation of the Israeli series, Prisoners of Wars, directed by Nikhil Advani. She is also anchoring for the tele series, Devlok, which started airing last week on Epic channel. A history buff, she talks to people like renowned mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik, about stories from the Indian mythology. Recently seen in a Malayalam film, Kammatipadam, she hopes to work in regional cinema projects in Punjabi and Tamil,  since “a lot of good work is happening there”. She also hopes to be offered a spy film soon.

“I love this genre. Right now I am tripping on this fascinating TV series called The Americans, which is about spies during the Cold War,” signs off Dugal.

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