Paresh Rawal on his ‘cook fish for Bengalis’ remark: ‘A slip of the tongue’ | Bollywood

In his next film, Paresh Rawal will play a Bengali character. The actor takes up the role of a narrator in Ananth Mahadevan’s The Storyteller. The film is based on legendary auteur Satyajit Ray’s short story, Golpo Bolo Tarini Khuro. His character is of a storyteller who is hired by a rich Gujarati businessman to help with his insomnia. (Also read: ‘Will you cook fish for Bengalis?’ Paresh Rawal’s Gujarat speech draws flak. He clarifies)

The Storyteller, which also stars Adil Hussain, Revathy and Tannishtha Chatterjee, had its world premiere at the 27th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) in October 2022. Paresh recently spoke about playing a Bengali character in the adaptation, as he had played them before, but never for a feature film. He had acted in Badal Sarkar’s Bengali play Pagla Ghoda as well.

Last month, the actor had come under fire for his comments about the people of Bengal while on campaign in Gujarat. According to a PTI report, he had said, “Gas cylinders are expensive, but their price will come down. People will get employment too. But what will happen if Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshis start living around you, like in Delhi? What will you do with gas cylinders? Cook fish for the Bengalis?” Paresh had apologised for his remarks and he clarified his meaning in an interview with Mid-Day. He said, “It was a slip of the tongue, and what I said was misconstrued. I genuinely didn’t mean any harm to anybody. It hurts me to know that Bengali people whose art, cinema and literature I look up to, misunderstood me.”

Paresh is married to former Miss India, actor Swaroop Samrat. His son Aditya Rawal, who made his acting debut in 2020 with the Zee5 film Bamfaad, recently shared that there are both disadvantages and advantages to being a star kid. He told Hindustan Times, “The struggles exist but it is definitely easier because you get your foot in the door. Because I am my father’s son, I can hopefully meet people I really want to work with. I know the best way to approach them because of the guidance of my parents. As a writer, I can have directors and producers I want to work with read my stuff. That in itself is an advantage. That access is something most people do not have at their disposal. But once I have that access, my work has to speak for me.”

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