Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review of Play Begum Jaan by Ekjute

It was a delight. Thats the short review.

Nadira Babbar plays Begum Jaan and as Juhi Babbar says rightly, Begum Jaan mein jaan daal di (she put life in the character) .

The play is entertaining without being flippant, funny without being vulgar (yeah thats a rarity these days) and tells a story without preaching.(ok, only in parts).

When one goes to see a play, one expects a play. one expects performances, sound modulation and stage presence. One gets all that. AND, one gets a lovely stage setting. That stage setting had my jaw drop from the word go. That the play itself is very, very nicely written is a bonus.

This play is like an onion - layers come off personalities, bit by bit. One of the dialogues in the play can be roughly translated as : People are a lot like onions. If you start peeling off the layers, at some point, your eyes will water.

The play is also like a classic book - everytime you encounter it, you are likely to come away with a new meaning. The characters are not black or white. They have shades of grey, turqoise, bright green, and everything in between. They are real characters, with real personalities - not the unidimensional personalities that popular fiction has us believe exist.

The play raises no new questions. Provides no new answers. But for those 2 hours, it takes you on a journey into a different world. Its like a roller coaster ride on the wings of a thumari.



Gentle Breeze said...


This brought about memories of a play by Nadira Babbar I saw many many years ago.. Jasma Odhan.. she was indeed flawless..

and I just finished reading the memoirs of Günter Grass..Peeling the Onion
some onions are worth peeling :-)

Onkar said...

Good review. Hope, I get a chance to see the play.

How do we know said...

Hi GB: Yes. they are performers who have amazing stage presence. i would say the same for most of the Mumbai theater actors. They are different , thats all - NSD plays of Delhi and Mumbai Prithvi theater ones. The last play i enjoyed was coincidentally a Mumbai play too - Lubna Salim's Hum Suffer. :)

Onkar sir: thats the thing with reviewing plays. you cant share them like movies. they are not available on a tap, or in a DVD. one has to wait for the play to come again :(