Among the very few things that Robin and I agree on is our love for Mumbai. Mumbai is the city equivalent of a bollywood potboiler: It can be gritty and larger than life at the same time. Everyday it seems as if it is breaking at its seams with overflowing humanity, yet every newcomer find his niche.
One of my favorite things to do in Mumbai is to see a play at Prithvi. Prithvi is a landmark for being a place which gives a platform to the struggling theatre groups in the city. It is an establishment which reflects the passion and vision that has gone into building a dream. At any given point the café will have a smattering of artists that hang out here. Don’t be surprised to witness live performances at the café. The Irish coffee here is legendary and definitely worth a try.
This 200 seater is generally sold out so the recently launched online booking facility of bookmyshow.com is welcome. Last week I saw a Mahesh Dattani play directed by Lilitte Dubey ‘ 30 Days of September’. Now the play was to begin at 9 pm and Prithvi has a strict no late entry policy. Hmmm and generally despite my best efforts I tend to stretch the limits of JIT. And with three pre booked tickets in my hand and a mad dash from Churchgate to Juhu I did not want to miss this play which had received rave reviews and was celebrating its 100th show.
The cast of the show was Neha Dubey ( Monsoon Wedding), Lilitte Dubey, Joy Sengupta and Amar Talwar. The play explores the psyche of Neha Dubey’s character and her relationship with her mom played by Lilitte Dubey. The theme of the play is extremely disturbing that of child molestation and incest. The acting is class, the depiction of the scenes which deal with the molestation of Neha is superb. Especially the casting of Amar Talwar as the uncle who is the perpetrator is perfect because the polished and sophisticated exterior hides a demon reinforcing the fact that a child molester does not only perpetrate physical abuse , the source of power is the mental hold the person has over the child.
Also the play asks some questions which would definitely make you squirm in your seat. The different dimensions of abuse, the self loathe, the guilt of having enjoyed the abuse at some level, the need to be loved and wanted, fallibility of parents and the fact that children tend to overlook the pain that parents go through.
After the recent disspointment of the much awaited Girish Karnad play “The Wedding Album” this play blew me away. A definite must watch to understand the depth of that this medium can explore and how a play can leave you with food for thought also what great acting can really do.