Monday, January 23, 2012

Review of the Play - Hum Safar (Hum Suffer?)

Most stories end with "And they lived happily ever after" or at "And they were unhappy for the rest of their lives". This, however, was a story that started with "And then they were divorced.... "

When we tell the story of a marriage, we start at the nuptials (or maybe the courtship if we want to be all propah about it), and we end it at one of the following end points:
the death of either spouse, the marriage of children  or the flying of the nest, the separation and the subsequent reunion. And maybe, just maybe, at the divorce that does not lead to a reunion.

This, however, is a story that starts AT the divorce. After 15 years and 2 children, a couple decides to part ways. The play starts with the night of the divorce, coincidentally, also, the night of their 15th wedding anniversary..

And then, like a river, it meanders through the lives of those 2 protagonists as they deal with the separation, and continue to bump into each other in ways that co-parents must - the children, deaths in the family, so on..

This play is a classic must watch. If not for anything, just for Lubna Salim. She has enough stage presence to light up an entire stage  by being in it. There is no other performer on stage - just these 2 - in Delhi, it was Harsh Chhaya and Lubna Salim.

The play also has Gulzar's poetry in his own voice - a treat, and extremely well selected - that poetry does a lot of story telling in the play.

Most people in the audience will identify with the play. We will all see slices of ourselves in those 2 characters.. its a rare performance that makes u uncomfortable in your seat. And in your comfort zone. This was one of those performances.

One of the Gulzar poems used in the play says "Rishte agar hum libaason ki tarah badal sakte... " but you see, thats not possible, not just bcs of shared children and logistics, but because... relationships are not bought off the shelf. They have to be woven bit by bit..

Multiple dialogues from the play come to mind. But here is the one that stayed the most:

Husband: All these years later, and still a bitch.
Wife: Better than being a bithch-ari (bechari)

The play got a full hall standing ovation last night. And i woke up at 4 in the morning, thinking of the character of Lubna Salim. 


~G said...

I am going to look out for that one. Sounds interesting.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally...profound thoughts and looks definitely worth a dekko!!

Raajii said...

Oh you are making me want to watch it... any youtube videos of it?

How do we know said...

Hi g: yes it is.. i wld have missed sth in life if i'd missed this play.

hi anonymous: well.. i hope u like it when u c it

hi raaji: i dont know.. maybe u cld search? and let me know when u getthem,... i soo want to c this play again..