Wednesday 27 September 2023

"Aankh Micholi"- Hindi play staged in Bandra (Mumbai) on 24.09.2023

 'Crush' surviving the marriage

( हिंदी में समीक्षा के लिए -   यहाँ क्लिक करके क्रम सं. 34  देखिए )

You often have a crush on someone who is beyond your reach. The moment you reach that person you discover it all was worthless. It's always brilliant to advocate liberalism with other's spouse but only till the point when your spouse begins dithering away from you for somebody else. 

Even a hardcore gentle person can turn a flirt wizard after watching this play.

It was exciting to behold the high-class natural comedy. I, you and all always keep two faces. One for self and the other for others. The more this is exposed, the more is humour. So, you find there is absolutely no need of absurd costumes, gaudy postures or vulgar themes for the best comedy. The best comedy is that which is meaningful and relates straight to viewer. 

Extra-marital sexual attraction is a phenomenon nobody is free from. And this play focuses on and deals it to the culmination. The drama script of C.P. Deshpandey as it was served by the director Vikas Bahari made it eminently clear that sexuality does not require vulgarity. 

An old flame of college days Ajay meets Naina at her home who is newly married to a CID offer. Naina is a sensible woman and does not fall prey to Ajay so easily but she could not resist the showering of plaudits from him. And gradually she is somehow in a mood of liking him. After all, he has been his ex-male friend (if not boyfriend). Ajay speaks highly of everything directly or remotely connected with Naina -  motif on her 'saree', colour of the walls, the sofa, the artworks, the brands she uses and everything you can imagine. He keeps praising everything about Naina along with simultaneously disapproving of everything about his wife Sandhya. For securing intimacy with Naina he blames that his wife is entangled with his collegue Vikas. Naina is a playful woman who relishes flirt but what Ajay is not knowing is that she is also wide awake about the limit. The moment Ajay begins to delineate the astrological grandeur of a mole on her face and then pleads her to show other moles on different corners of her body, Naina is alerted. Ajay is a master of seduction so instantly he changes his demand and pleads her to dance with him as they used to while in college. A full dance bite is here to enthrall the audience.

After the song played by the speaker is finished Naina goes to the kitchen for preparing coffee but Ajay was still jumping and murmuring the song when the CID officer caught him red-handed. A very witty conversation follows here between the legal and illegal claimant on the beauty of Naina. Two chirpy Hindi dialogues are given below-

"Jab do chor, alag-alag chor raston se chal kar ek hi jagah pahuchte hain to wah chor raasta nahi rah jata, highway ban jaaata hai"

"Jo log kam satark rahte hain unki grihasthi sukhad rahti hai aur mai apni grihasthi sukhad rakhna .... nahi chaahta.."

The CID officer schooled him to the brim but Ajay pleaded not guilty. So the CID officer thought an other plan.

In the next scene, when a natural brat was on of Ajay with his wife Sandhya just for nothing, the doorbell rings. Then there is Naina with her husband to be hosted by Ajay and Sandhya. Naina's husband plays every trick with Sandhya that was played with Naina at her home by Ajay. But Ajay pretends to be a 'liberado' and rather tries to enjoy his time with Naina once again. But.. but there is a trigger point at which Ajay is flabbergasted and thinks it is better to take hold of his wife rather than claiming someone else's. What is that trigger point? Go and watch the drama.

This sort of show is really a boon to the viewers. There was an extreme comedy but in perfectly natural circumstances. Every character is framed in a genuine and normal form the way we find them at our next door. The duplicity of someone's thoughts is the biggest source of humour and the playwright C.P. Deshpandey has tapped it utterly. The director Vikas Bahari has ensured that not even a single drop of it is missed. My heartful applauses to both of them.

The actor who played Ajay was just too hilarious! His mannerism can be paralleled with iconic Dev Anand with a high modicum of hilarity. In the scene of his home when Naina visits with her husband the ideological duplicity of his liberalism is brutally exposed. This nakedness of moral adventurism left everyone rolling around laughing. The laughter kept oozing out on every witty dialogue of Ajay and the CID officer. The two young and beautiful women maintained their sobriety while also kept adding to the humour from their end. So, there was a contrast of two restless men very keen to break the civil norms with the two women who were participating in the crossover after some feminine resistance. And by God's grace it all culminated on a civilized note.

Needless to mention that the CID officer and the two lady actors did brilliant jobs. The way the CID officer encircles Ajay without any concrete proof was incredible and became possible only through the perfect accent and pauses in his dialogue-delivery. He has a imposing personality which justifies his role. The gorgeous look and smile on Naina's face were very attractive and suited her role while the perplexity of Sandhya for her fondness to her colleague Vikas (who never came on-stage) was obvious. She impersonated perfectly the Indian woman who knows it well  how to bring a spoiled husband well on track. A natural beauty of her Indianness is praiseworthy.

The actors were Paritosh Tripathi, Jatin Sarna, Reena Agarwal and Priya Raina.

The excellent show must give credits to those who handled lights, sound and costumes which were faultless in the show. The set-designs of a middle-class household was also realistic.

The play was staged at St. Andrews Auditorium, Bandra (Mumbai) on 24.9.2023.

Review by- Hemant Das 'Him'
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