Dara Singh & Satyadev Dubey’s last appearance together

MUMBAI: Dara Singh would be seen for the last time in the film Ata Pataa Laapataa. Interestingly the doyen of Hindi theatre, Satyadev Dubey who passed away earlier this year would also be seen for the last time in the same film. While Dubey plays a theatre actor, Dara Singh portrays the owner of the drama company.

The film is a political satire in a musical form which will be dedicated to Satyadev Dubey and Dara Singh.

Rajpal Yadav who plays the lead in the film and has also directed the film says, “This is my 25th year as an actor. I have grown older worshipping Satyadev Dubey as an actor. When he agreed to be in my film I felt I had achieved something great in life. But after that, Dara Singhji also agreed to be part my film. I couldn’t ask for more. Both the doyens were so inspiring to watch and direct. Satyadevji would say, ‘Don’t hesitate in correcting me if I am going wrong.’ This, coming from the God of acting to someone who’s not just his disciple but also a first-time director.”

Dara Singh was ailing when Rajpal approached him for the role. “He was so profession
al in spite of his failing health and so childlike in his enthusiasm about his role. By the time we came to his dubbing he was too ill to travel, so we recorded his dubbing at his home.We did try to get voices of mimic artistes to match Daraji’s voice. But it was impossible. Dara Singhji’s voice and personality can’t be duplicated. He was one of his kind. I am a very small person physically. But Daraji’s personality can diminish even the biggest of physiques.”

Ata Pataa Laapataa is what Rajpal Yadav calls an “organized musical chaos.” He further adds,“The story moves forward through the music. It’s a look at the socio-political  system that we’ve created. It has 175 actors. Only 20 of them have acted in films before. The others are from theatre all over the country. While Satyadevji blended beautifully with the theatre actors,the whole environment created in my film was new to Dara Singhji. He took to the completely new working atmosphere with childlike enthusiasm. When I become old I want to conduct myself like Dara Singhji.”

Apparently Dara Singh has to deliver a speech about the state of the nation from 1950 to 2012. “We needed an actor whose voice could convey the entire historical perspective of post-independence India. Dara Singhji was the only person we could think of.” says Rajpal Yadav.

Subhash K Jha

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