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Ek Mulaqaat: An Evening of Nostalgia and A Quest for Answers

 Ek Mulaqaat performed by Shekhar Suman and Deepti Naval, written by Summana Ahmed and Saif Hyder Hassan at G.D. Birla Sabhaghar, Kolkata on May 2, 2015., Review

Last Saturday, I went to G.D. Birla Sabhaghar to watch Ek Mulaqaat performed by Shekhar Suman and Deepti Naval, written by Summana Ahmed and Saif Hyder Hassan.  I was keenly anticipating since I have always admired Deepti Naval and Shekhar Suman. They play the poets Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi, the Indian poets.

Ek Mulaqaat review
Ek Mulaqaat ( A Meeting)
Life presents us with choices. But we have to choose one road and the choice is not always we want to make. Those are not always even choices, but circumstances which force us down one. We often walk down one, wondering ,"What if.." Ek Mulaqaat,
explores the relationship between Amrita and Sahir who suddenly meet in an evening and Amrita wishes to seek answers to the questions she has always carried with her in her life.
The play,  is more about nostalgia and unfruitful love affair,and the undying love. It is carried and nourished, until the end. Despite being in a relationship, the differences in their background, partition and Sahir's own aversion towards marriage because of his father's violent behavior towards his mother, Sahir refuses to settle with Amrita even though Amrita was willing to struggle against the boundaries.

The production relies more on the dialogue. The minimalistic prop gives an overall clean edge. I have never seen Shekhar Suman perform; I had known him mainly as an anchor when I used to watch him as a kid. Since the production heavily relies on dialogues and music rather than much of action, the delivery had to be exceptional, which both Deepti Naval and Shekhar Suman handled brilliantly.  On entering the hall, we were provided with flyers with the translations of Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi's poems to set the mood.

Another interesting aspect was the use of blue, green and red lights. In moments of passion and emotion, and violence, the red light imparts a brilliant effect to capture the mood. A close attention to the dialogues would predict the twist in the tale like, Sahir explains to Amrita that it is in death that he has found respite, or the fact that Amrita keeps averting the phone calls from Bombay with premonitions of her own. Of course, I am not going to divulge, the real twist in the tale and kill your joy in case you are planning to watch.

The snapshots in the screen in the background was particularly distracting in my opinion. But then, the director would know the best.For everything, I think the play would have done equally well as a radio-play as well.

I am glad that I was able to attend the show. For the mood and the poetry and music and no doubt the performance, Ek Mulaquaat would stay with me forever.

I had been invited to attend the performance. The views are my own.