Sadashiv Amrapurkar Made The Transgender Character ‘Maharani’ Immortal

Yaha ka raja, is jism ke bazaar ka maharaja aur naam maharani….

Sadashiv Amrapurkar, played the unique role of Maharani, a eunuch that was menacing and lethal. He was seriously marvelous and the audiences got hooked. Sadashiv Amrapurkar gave a new definition and viciousness to the transgender character of Maharani in Mahesh Bhatt’s super hit film SADAK. 

This novel character Maharani was first of its kind on Indian screen because the villain was depicted as a transgender who was cruel, merciless brothel mistress. Maharani was engaged in human trafficking and had side-kicks who were also transgender. Repulsive to look at, Sadashiv Amrapurkar etched fear in the minds of cinegoers that still revokes. In fact the role won such admiration for Sadashiv Amrapurkar that he went on to win the prestigious Filmfare Best Villain role beating tough competitors’ like Amrish Puri in SAUDAGAR and Danny Dengzongpa in HUM. 

However readers would be surprised to know that when writer Robin Bhatt narrated the character of Maharani, the ruthless transgender who operates brothels in Mumbai and is a dreaded gang leader, director Mahesh Bhatt had reservation about the role. Bhatt could not imagine in his wildest dream that a transgender, who are always made mockery in Bollywood films playing the central negative character in the movie. 

However Robin Bhatt persuaded Bhatt Sahab about the authenticity of the character. He informed him about several brothels in Mumbai being run by transgenders and he had written the character accordingly.

After lots of cajoling Mahesh Bhatt agreed but somewhere within the hearts he felt the character would misfire. Hence when the role was narrated to Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Mahesh Bhatt opened his heart but to his surprise Sadashiv Amrapurkar’s was delighted at the novel concept of the villains. He assured Bhatt sahab to bring the character alive on the screen. 

True to his words Amrapurkar played the vicious eunuch Maharani with such fineness that it became the second most dreaded performance after Amjad Khan’ Gabbar Singh in SHOLAY. 

What makes Maharani memorable is a blend of humour, malice and wickedness that transformed Maharani into a chilling villain ever portrayed on Indian Screen. 

On the death of the genius actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar; Raaga.Com pays our humble homage.