Monday 28 August 2023

"Hai Mera Dil" - a Hindi play staged in Chembur (Mumbai) on 26.8.2023

A kind husband is a bigger danger

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 30  देखिए )

If someone is husband and he is not skeptic, it means there is a bigger danger to the wife. The sudden disappearance of intra-family stress is something most nauseated by a wife and she turns extremely inquisitive. And you know it better where the inquisitiveness of a wife invariably leads to. 

A 42 years old husband Madan has a charming wife Usha and they live peacefully. The husband is though physically fit but he prefers to a get-up and mannerism best suited to an greybeard pensioner. One day, a male ex-classmate of college days of Usha comes to her house for some work and stays for some days. Usha asks her husband to accompany her and her old male classmate for shopping. But the husband (Madan) is feeling some heart pain and so he allows both Usha and her old male friend to go for shopping together. The same thing happens for some days. Initially Usha enjoys strolling around the city with an unmarried and youthful male ex-classmate but ultimately she doubts the motive of her husband. How a husband cannot object his wife moving out for excursion again and again with another man. There is certainly something amiss! And she concludes there must be some girlfriend of her husband who would be accompanying him in his revelry in absence of the wife. So, an epic fight of husband-wife begins. Ultimately, the husband admits that yes he liked his wife to go out with her male ex-classmate and he really wanted that both should befriend each other much deeply so that both could marry in near future. Hearing this the wife is in full rage but just before she is about to turn horribly violent the husband clarifies that there is no girlfriend of him. He further tells that the doctor has said that he is going to die soon so he wanted that her wife should chose some boy for marrying so that her future is safeguarded. Usha is stupefied over this news but she begins to looking after her husband like a loyal wife. 

When Usha is not at home, the husband calls a monument-builder and orders him to build a memorable civil structure in his memory soon after his death. He has also requests one of his drunkard friends to write his biography which should be published after his death.  One day when Usha is at home, the doctor friend comes at her flat with a big fish in his hook. The moment he offers the fish as gift, Usha expresses anger how a severely cardiac patient (her husband) can eat fish? Then the doctor understands everything and opens the secret that the terminally ill patient he was talking about over a phone call from her house was someone else and not her husband. The whole thing turns a U-turn again and the wife again suspects that this all story of 'dying' was nothing but a hoax which was cooked up only to be used as a subterfuge for debauchery and indulgence with the girlfriend. The husband is again helpless but then the monument-builder knocks at the door to show the designs of monuments for which he has already been paid Rs. 4.20 lakh. The wife now believes that she has got a hypochondriac but a cent-percent loyal husband who not only thinks about her in his lifetime but also cares for her after his life.

This whimsical comedy has been running on stages since 1970s till now and more than 1125  of stage presentation have been made of it.  "Hai Mera Dil" is a Hindi adaption of Broadway play by Norman Barasch and Carroll Moore, also made into 1964 American comedy film, "Send Me No Flowers". The Hindi adaption is made by Ranbir Singh who has been able to reap the best out of the original.

Preeta Mathur Thakur, Aman Gupta, Atul Mathur, Shankar Iyer, Gujan Sinha, Sangam Rai,Sapna Choubisa & Rohit Goswamy were  the artists in this play. The play originally directed by Dinesh Thakur who also acted he lead role  in large number of shows in his lifetime. It was now directed by his wife Preeta Mathur Thakur. 

The whole hall erupted in laughter in two scenes of imaginary thoughts. In one, the husband imagines that after his death, his wife is selling balloons for her livelihood and is deceived by the buyers for her poor mathematics. In another, the wife imagines that her husband is on loving binge with the witch girlfriend.

Preeta Mathur Thakur and Aman Gupta were a good combination as a delusive husband and fun-finder but super-alert wife. The way the husband Madan (Aman Gupta) pushes down the dialogues with a handing face it certainly gives an impression of a dying man. On the other side, there is the agile wife Usha (Preeta Mathur Thakur) with all her sixth sense working who can readily smell a rat in anything. The male ex-classmate of Usha also befittingly an army officer. The drunkard advocate friend was truly in a tipsy avatar. The doctor and monument-builder also did their job well. A dance sequence of hypochondriac with his concocted girlfriend added musical flavour to the show. As a whole, the show was superbly entertaining which made the people suffer from laughter bouts throughout the play. 

The show proves some plays are evergreen and "Hai Mera Dil" is one of them. This is mentioned as the longest running comedy in the history of Hindi theatre.

Review by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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Friday 18 August 2023

"Baap Ka Baap"- Hindi play staged in Bandra (Mumbai) on 13.08.2023

 A mindless romantic competition

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 29  देखिए )

"Kitne saal laga diye aapne mujh se milne me
  Jaise darji ne bahut waqt le liya meri shaadi ka suit silne me" 
(Hindi dialogue in the play)

A 38 years old woman falls in love with a man of 40 years - No surprise? Then listen to this. An 18 years teenager girl is crazily in love with a 80 years old grand gaffer. Both are true in this play.

A widower father (Asrani)  is very concerned about his son who is not marrying even after reaching 40 years of age. The house is a den for constant little wrangles on this matter. Ultimately one fine day, the man succeeds in persuading a beautiful woman (Padmini Kolhapure) to marry him. He brings that woman to his house to introduce his father and finds out that there is already a new pandemonium in surge. His 80 years old father is romancing with a teenager lass. And to give it a dizzy turn, the teenager girl is identified as the real daughter of the woman brought by the 40 years old man.

In the midst of all mindless awkwardness, a whole lot of clash, arguments and emotional drama follows. Still,  the cynical senescent old man and the heedless devil girl are adamant on going along with their salacious episode . Here comes a new turn to the story. The 40 years old man declines the idea of marrying the woman he brought on the ground that he would prefer a virgin unmarried woman. On the other hand, the 80 years old man and 18 yeas old girl declare that they are going to marry each other. It is only after the revelation of a big mystery that the bedlam goes and a rule of law prevails in the house. What is the mystery? Find out in the theatre house. In the end, 40 years old man and 38 years old woman tie up the nuptial bond.

When two celebrated movie icons of erstwhile are on stage then you see hardly any difference in stage and a silver-screen. Padmini Kolhapure of "Pyar jhukta nahi" fame and "Angerejon ke zamaane ke jailor" of the most successful movie in Indian history 'Sholay" comedian Asrani again rocked on stage. It was a feast to viewers to watch the stage versions of superhit songs like "Aa dekhen zara, kisme kitna hai dam..", "Chali hawa, jhuki ghata, kuch hua kya?..", "Saala mai to saheb ban gaya..". It was absolutely unbelievable that Asrani at 82 and Padmini Kolhapure at 57 can hop around like a adolescents! The group dances were well-choreographed. Doubtless in acting, Asrani and Padmini were as impressive as they are in their hit movies. Naveen Bawa showed his mettle in delivering comedy 'sher's (couplets) leaving the audience with helpless incessant laugh.  Chitranshi Raawat established her authority with her superb devil-may-care mannerism perfectly as required. Her body language impressed all the viewers.

The play was written and directed by Naveen Bawa. The script was tight and the story flew in a seamless manner. Direction was deft though the overacting in body-language of the teenager girl is an area of qualified approval. 

The viewers enjoyed the show in full - the whole gamut of comedy in body-language and humorous couplets, music, group dance, serious scenes and take-away message. The talk on the play can roughly be succinate as "If the youthful middle-aged group does not do their job, the super-older and super-younger duo has to do that.

Review by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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Thursday 10 August 2023

"Jar tar chi gosht" - Marathi play staged in Thane on 5.8.2023

 Rejuvenated wreckage

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 28  देखिए )

You can make your future but can't delete your past. The same is true with marital life. Whatever good or bad your earlier spouse had been, he (or she) remains an essential part of your life story. It is always preferable not to touch oneself on the raw but God forbid if If time plays tricks and puts two ex-spouses at a seclusive resort then what happens is a full comedy. Humour soars to the highest echelons of the sky in such a situation what is shown in the Marathi play- "Jar tar chi goshta".

Samar and Radha are doing great in their professional life after their divorce. In the past 3 years they have chosen their new partner and are now settled with that. In normal course, But by chance, they come across each other at a resort. Their (then spouses) are there still they are able to find enough time for private interaction with their ex.

I could not watch the whole play as I reached after the interval. But what I saw looked highly confusing for me. The ex-husband was in conversation with his ex-wife. And it was like a bout of bipolar psychriatic disorder. In one moment he was beseeching the lady to forgive him and show the sympathy but on just another he was there full of accusations and charges for her. The viewers burst into guffaws again and again on every gestures of this dramatic ex-couple. And at the end there was a tuneful song "Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hai" sung by the lady and supported on Guitar by her ex or present partner. 

The play was fully successful in compelling the people to laugh because of it's funny theme and strength of comedy acting. The credit also goes to the scriptwriter Irawati Karnik who imagined and carried out well such a unique circumstance.

Adwait Dadarkar and Ranjit Patil were the directors of the play. Without their apt direction, the actors Priya Bapat and Umesh Kamat in the leads could not have cast a spell. The supporting actors Ashutosh Gokhle and Pallavi Ajay also did a good job.  It was the premiere show and the whole auditorium was packed.
Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
Send response to- hemantdas2001@gmail,.com
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Tuesday 1 August 2023

"Hichtar familichi gammat aahe" - Marathi play staged in Navi Mumbai on 29.07.2023

 Matching up the lacunae

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 27  देखिए )

If a chap with his hooligans gives a full-blown whistle from the window just opposite to that of a young lady, what should be the response? Yea , you are correct. The girl is ready to wage a war against those. Without wasting time, she walks up to just beneath their window furiously. The boys are appalled hearing the toughest warning from the girl. The warning is that the whistle boy should visit her house with a marriage proposal to her. 

In a normal Indian scenario the family of the whistling boy must have been aghast on this development. But unexpectedly it happened totally reverse.  They are glad and oblige the warning uttered by the girl. 

Wow! Such a storyline is possible only in a comedy. Yes it is a comedy but the sequence of acts mentioned above does have a very sombre undertone also. The proposer boy cannot see in night hours and the whistled girl cannot see in day time. Handicaps are also with other characters and it would not be an exaggeration if I say this play a symposium of specially able people. Keeping in view of dignity issue of specially able people in real world the scriptwriter has shown such handicaps that are normally not found in the real world in exact fashion as shown. Physical handicaps shown here are just the representation of societal shortcomings.

The elder brother of the girl is perhaps suffering from short memory who is well looked after by his caring wife. The condition of the opposite family is also not lagging behind. The merit in one boy you already know that he cannot see at night. One of his brother cannot hear most often and the third brother can hardly speak two words at a time. Here also, the wife of the eldest one takes care of all and is like an iron pillar of the family.

The interesting issue is the decision on timing of marriage negotiation. Since both families want to conceal the special ability of one's own ward, both are very sensitive about the time of meeting. One side prefers day time as his ward cannot see at night and so with similar reasons other party prefers night hours as the girl cannot see in day time. In coincidence of their sagacity, the time is fixed to be the evening  so that their shortcoming should not be exposed. But you know unintended revelations are the very gateway of storm of laughter. 

The comic bit of greeting 'namaste' has came out too hilariously! The elder brother of the lad has a hearing loss and he bids 'namaste' to the sister-in-law of the girl and she also retorts with a 'namaste'. But as he could not hear the reply he again offers ' namaste' and the kind lady again retorts in courtesy. But the man never hears the reply of his greeting and keeps on offering 'namaste' innumerable times causing extreme embarrassment to the guardian lady of the bride-to-be. Even the biggest stone hearts will burst into laughter on this episode.

Things seem to go awry during the course of negotiation but ultimately everyone comes to know each other's shortcomings and they all agree to live with and support each other/. Yea sure, a nuptial knot is tied between the whistle boy and the whistled-on girl. 

The play moves on with an feverish speed like a bullet train and you come to be a witness of pace being used as a technique of humour. The whole play is virtually dependent on promptness of action-reaction and the actors have stood astoundingly well on this yardstick. 

The scriptwriter and the director of the play was Santosh  Pawar . The actors were Sagar Karande, Shalaka Pawar, Sayali Deshmukh, Ramesh Wani, Siddhirupa Karmarkar, Ajinkya Date and Amogh Chandan. Music was a valuable ingredient that was provided by Ashok Patki.

Co-existence of the different groups of people with their shortcomings is the takeaway that is successfully laid down by the play in an extremely jocular manner.

Review by - Hemant Das 'Him'
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