Bollywood has been raging with the debate on nepotism ever since Kangana Ranaut struck uneasy chords about it in her confrontation with Karan Johar. Talking about how the Indian film industry has a bias towards talent born into industry families, she begun a discussion which refuses to die. But amidst all the mud-slinging on the topic, one never imagined it would be portrayed in the form of a story.
But that’s what theatre and film actor Ashok Chaudhary’s character in the American Off-Broadway play The Music In My Blood is all about. The play has the Indian-American playing a character of Vikram; an aspiring singer who does not belong to any affluent musical family, but dreams of becoming a famous singer like the yesteryear greats Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar.
“Vikram goes through the journey of a careless student hailing from a lower strata of society, persevering to learn Hindustani classical music and finally transforming himself into a great musician,” informs Ashok.
“His character redefines the play’s title The Music in My Blood and proves that one does not have to be born in an artistic family to be a great performer. With sheer talent and dedication, the character proves that nepotism can be crushed,” he adds.
Interestingly, the play’s narration is creatively moved forward in the form of a ghost of Walter Kaufmann, a Jewish refugee to India during the Second World War, who gave India the iconic All India Radio signature tune and fell in love with the music of the land.
Ashok is touched by the audience response. “After the play, viewers come up to me in a very emotional state, some even with moist eyes. They identify with the character which seems to rake up their pent up emotions and unfulfilled dreams. Such a soul-stirring response is heart-warming and heartbreaking at the same time,” remarks Ashok.
He will next be seen playing a spy in Eshwar Gunturu’s Bollywood film Code Name Abdul which stars Tanishaa Mukerji in the lead.