Spreading cheer

Rasika Dugal, actor


When people’s moods started plummeting during the lockdown, Rasika Dugal and husband Mukul Chadda came up with the delightfully light-hearted short film, Banana Bread. But that is not all. Dugal has much more up her sleeve. There is Mira Nair’s A Suitable Boy, the comedy-drama Lootcase and the second season of Delhi Crime. In between, she has been dubbing for the second season of Mirzapur. She will soon begin work on Lord Curzon Ki Haveli.

Were you scared about going out to dub for Mirzapur 2?

I was going out after a long time and hence had taken extra precautions, [almost to the point of] overdoing it. (Laughs) The good thing was that the producers were extra nice. I discussed the safety measures and the things that would make me comfortable.... I asked them to shift the dubbing to a studio closer to my house in case I wanted to use the loo and they did. It was strange to step out though. The streets looked so different.

So many people are struggling for work and you have four projects back-to-back.

I am so grateful. I have nothing to complain about, especially because I am getting to do such a variety of roles. Recently, we released a small clip of a song from Lootcase, where I am doing a little dance, something that I have not done earlier. Lootcase’s Lata is a blunt and straightforward person. [On the other hand], Savita in A Suitable Boy is a gentle, calm and loving person. It is lovely to play such diverse characters across formats.

You wrote and acted in Banana Bread with Mukul.

It was really a need to respond creatively to the very strange times that we are living in. And I consciously wanted to have a light-hearted take on it because we could all do with a little of that. Every day, there is something which is even more devastating, at an economic or a human rights level. In the coming months, we are going to feel the impact of all this severely. We really need something in such times to cheer us up. On a lighter note, it was a break from the constant housework. I had always been interested in being a part of something right from the ideation stage because as actors, you enter a project when the work is half done. So, you don’t have much agency. Mukul has written a few things previously, but for me this was exciting and thus Banana Bread happened.