Hasvaphasvi celebrates 700th show on June 13, 2000
at Bal Gandharva Rangmandir, Pune

Krishnarao Herambkar

Waghmare and Monika are rushing about, doing a last-minute check to see that everything is in order for the felicitation function in honour of Krishnarao Herambkar, an octogenarian singer-actor who, in his heyday, was one of the towering personalities of Marathi theatre. Due to a series of  unforeseen circumstances, Krishnarao gets delayed. But the show has to go on. And so the two comperes call certain members of the audience on stage in order to keep things moving. There are also some who arrive uninvited.


The first to appear on stage is Chimanrao, the lovable C. V. Joshi character with the quivering nose and high-pitched voice that Dilip Prabhavalkar portrayed in a television serial more than a decade ago. The role turned him into a celebrity, a household name. The Chimanrao of  ‘Hasvaphasvi’ is Prabhavalkar’s tribute to a much loved role, and an attempt to offer a bit of nostalgia to the audience.


Prince Wantung Pin-Pin

After the simple, extroverted Chimanrao, it’s the turn of the distinguished figure of Prince Wantung Pin-Pin, monarch of the imaginary Chingpong islands. Narrow eyes, a deadpan expression, a stiff, royal bearing, a sharp voice with the inability to pronounce the letter ‘r’... these are the characterstics that go into the persona of the Prince, who regales the audience till he has to rush off because of the political problems in his country.


Nana Punje

Enter Nana Punje, a street-smart trader who sells frozen chicken. With his protruding teeth, pronounced limp, nasal voice and irritating supercilious manner, he is as different from the Prince as chalk from cheese.


Dipti  Prabhavalkar-Patel-Lumumba

Meanwhile the comperes have organized a lucky dip and the winner is a charming lady -  
Dipti  Prabhavalkar-Patel-Lumumba
. She happens to be
Dilip Prabhavalkar’s younger sister, separated from him in their childhood in the best traditions of a Hindi film situation, and now living in Africa with her husband and a bevy of children.


Bobby Mod

Krishnarao has still not appeared and the comperes are at their wits' end, wondering how to hold the audience. In strides Bobby Mod, a pseudo-westernized young man who adopts a very punky style, speaks Marathi with an American accent, and belts out a rock number.


Finally, the doddering old singer-actor arrives, the man the audience has been waiting for patiently. Still young at heart, Krishnarao demonstrates that he has not lost his zest for living, singing a song from one of his plays with aplomb. ‘Hasvaphasvi’ ends on a sentimental note with a chaplinesque touch, proving that comedy is not only about laughter, it can also move one to tears.

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