Mayuri, who rose to fame with Zee Marathi's Khulta Kali Khulena, speaks about her play Dear Aajo on Zee theatre, losing her husband in 2020, and what’s next on her list of achievements.
Written by Mayuri, Dear Aajo is a contemporary drama that explores the relationship of an Indian grandparent essayed by Sanjay Mone with his American granddaughter.
Speaking about how she came up with the play’s concept, the 28-year-old says, “I was doing my Masters in Theatre Arts from Mumbai University and joined theatre legend Shafaat Khan’s playwriting course. He is an excellent teacher and I became really interested in writing even though earlier, my focus was only on acting.”
She further adds, “I began to ideate these two characters and that is how ‘Aajo’ and Shanu’ emerged. I commenced weaving a story around them and they were such contrasting characters that I was enjoying the process of detailing their journey together. What emerged as a writing exercise to fit in the grammar of what I had learned in my syllabus finally became, Dear Aajo.”
It’s been around three years since Mayuri wrote Dear Aajo, which has been translated in Gujarati and Kannada. Not to mention, she was also approached for it to be made into a film.
When asked if she anticipated the impact of her story, she says, “It is overwhelming when your first piece of writing gets such adulation from so many discerning people. I am extremely grateful for the kind of love it has received and continues to receive. It moves me so much whenever someone comes up to me and says how the play touched their heart. “
“I couldn’t have imagined it would have such a reach and impact. Every piece of creativity has its own destiny and I didn’t want to control where the play would go though, I did know it would resonate with people and move them. And it has,” adds Deshmukh.
Theatre was one of the segments in the entertainment industry that faced a major setback amid the ongoing pandemic. While television and OTT held the fort, Mayuri still thinks that the kind of viewing experience theatre can give with its performances remains unmatched.
She says, “Theatre is a live medium where the energy exchange and give and take between the audience and the performers is absolutely exhilarating and cannot be recreated anywhere else. This high is incomparable and cannot be matched by what you experience in a movie hall or while watching an OTT show or your phone. That is why theatre stands tall, is very secure in its own universe, and will live on forever.”
In 2020, Mayuri's husband and Marathi actor Ashutosh Bhakre allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence in Nanded town's Ganesh Nagar in the Marathwada region. He was 32.
The actress states, “2020 has been a tough year but I take one day at a time because that’s the only way to deal with whatever it is that I am going through.”
To the scores of women who look up to her, Deshmukh says, “Each woman is a force of nature and a phenomenon. Being one is such a blessing and we are all blessed with so many beautiful qualities and such incredible inner strength. If we can create babies then there is nothing that we can’t. We are born creators and we have the power to achieve anything.”
Speaking about what’s next on her list of professional commitments, she says, “It’s just the beginning of my journey and there is so much more to achieve and to do both in terms of writing and acting. I want to act in good projects and language is no barrier. I really yearn to be a part of sensible projects that impart something meaningful to the audience and add value to their life and make a positive difference.”
Dear Aajo is directed by Ajit Bhure and will be showcased on Dish TV & D2H Rangmanch.