Pu La Deshpande Vyakti Ani Valli.pdf
pu la deshpande’s humour is not only limited to slapstick. in one of his books, he talks about his irrational fears. he is fearful of owls, and one day he looked out of the window and saw his mother walking towards the car in the driveway. i was with her and he was very terrified. he screamed at her and asked her to get out of the car and stay there. she refused to listen, and in the next moment there was a screech and a whistling sound. a few seconds later, an owl landed on my mum’s head. i do wonder how he was able to convince himself that there was a supernatural element to it. pu la deshpande is also very philosophical. he talks about amba shonkar, one of his favourite characters in the book, towards the end of the book. amba is a strict zoroastrian, and when he is told that these gods are not real, he should kick them out.
similarly, in thakara gavi mumbai, when a man interested in buying a crockery shop finds that a shop, with the same name as his great grandfathers shop, is available for sale at an inflated price, he quips,
for those of us who are not conversant with the nuances of the marathi language, even a slight change in pitch causes the sentence to take on a whole new meaning, and deshpande makes sure you don’t have any doubt about the context of a sentence.
i.e. the sheep shearer was a complete failure. of course this is a satirical view of the brokers as not even a sheep shearer can do a good job! but still, the humour gets across much better if the agents were all failures.
apart from his playwriting, he also wrote dindharwad, a witty, sharp comedy (but a very brief piece) in the style of the silent slapstick comedies of one of his favourite directors, s.rajkumar. the lead is keshavrao, a simple man, who happens to be secretary of a group of funny fellows who come across as a collection of buffoons. they take him along with them on a roadshow (as an afterthought it seems), on a trip across india. the main part of the film is comedy, but the rest of it is more vignettes on human behaviour in the indian context with the characters trying to express their thoughts in the limited space available to them. but it is the dialogue, which is very cleverly written, that makes the film; and the one-liners, the way they are delivered, the way they are changed in context, in a matter of seconds, makes this film even more enjoyable.
He is credited with being the most prominent exponents of the format known as vachanas. Vachanas or laughter songs are the most beautiful form of Marathi folk literature. Ranging from political to philosophical, economical, social and humorous vachana songs are a staple at a wedding ceremony. In the video below, Deshpande narrates some of the typical vachana topics. He explains the reason for the corruption in the country because of the presence of elected representatives and the judiciary. He also talks about the problem with village panchayats. The reason most of the affairs are left to the village panchayat is partly due to poverty, illiteracy and the influence of the local caste and jati councils.
With this book, you can understand what a platform stand-up comedy was back in the 90s, when Deshpande was most active. In this interview with Times of India, Raj Kotharey, MD, Yatra TV, says, Its simple and clean stand-up comedy performed in modern settings, with state-of-the-art technology and a healthy dose of irreverence. And this is what Deshpande was an expert at. Comedians often struggle to reach out to the audience with their work. Deshpande’s characteristic crisp, incisive wit, and biting satire were admired and admired.
The video was shot in Jan 2009 and premiered at a public audience in Gwalior. Deshpande was widely viewed as a humourist, but he stood out due to his impeccable understanding of human nature and his impeccable verbal dexterity, according to me and other Marathi historians and researchers. Im not a writing expert, but I can definitely say that he has a very catchy style of writing that is easy to follow and learn. He is less of a storyteller than a joker with a heart and soul.