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Rasika Duggal as Safia Manto in Nandita Das’s biopic on the legendary writer Manto.
Rasika Duggal as Safia Manto in Nandita Das’s biopic on the legendary writer Manto.

Rasika Duggal to play Manto’s wife Safia

Rasika Duggal, who gained popularity with Irrfan Khan’s Qissa and web shows like Humourously Yours and Permanent Roommates, has been roped in to play Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s onscreen wife in Nandita Das’s biopic on Manto.

WT24 Desk

Nandita Das’s directorial venture, biopic of Sadat Hassan Manto, is under production. Nawazuddin Siddiqui,who plays the titular role in the film, has already shared his look from the movie. The latest in the series is Rasika Duggal’s photo from the sets. Rasika plays Safia, Manto’s wife, in the film, The Hindustan Times reports.

Nandita Das has, in earlier interviews, expressed concern over the lack of information and characterisation of the legendary writer’s wife who played an important role in his life.

Rasika dons a simple look with round glasses and traditional Indian attire as Safia. She was earlier seen in Irrfan Khan’s Qissa and the popular web series Permanent Roommates.

“I got very excited when I first saw the look come together. Was really happy with the outcome and all I could think was that I do look like her in the get up. I feel this look has been achieved through thorough research and the intent was to make Safia’s character as real as possible to her real life look,” Rasika said in a press statement.

Talking about his titular role, Nawazuddin had earlier told Hindustan Times, “That zone is still unknown to me, and I don’t know how I am going to play that part. It’s a new area, so I have no idea what will happen. But once I am done with the film, I will be happy that I have done a role that is worthwhile. At least I got to know more about a person who isn’t a usual [Bollywood] hero.”

Manto is being shot in Gujarat. Rajshri Deshpande will play Ismat Chugtai’s role in the film that also stars Chandan Sanyal in an important role.

Nandita helmed Firaaq in 2008 with celebrated actors as Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval, Paresh Rawal and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The film displayed the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots through the eyes of a variety of men and women — some victims, some perpetrators and some observers.

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