Stories of pain reflect life's harsh realities

Stories of pain reflect life's harsh realities

Theatre

On a humid Saturday evening, eight stories from the Maximum City landed in the Capital.

Vikram Kapadia’s play Bombay Talkies – Uncensored Emotions of Eight Mumbaikars, a series of eight monologues of common place Mumbaikars about the small problems and large issues they face daily in life, was staged at Epicentre, Gurgaon on 7th of July.

Presented by The Orchid Room Experiment, these were heart moving monologues discus­s­ing social issues through the fictional life stories of eight people.

The play started with a very common problem of the casting couch. Titled Baby Jasmine, the act was about a girl, a struggling actress who had won laurels in her childhood but to work now, it was her ‘sexiness’ that had to be ‘shown’ and not acting. 

Next was Ideas, the story of a housewife whose husband always jeered her, mocked her and discouraged everything she did, privately and publicly. 

Seven Tiles emphasised on the importance of childhood in a person’s life and the various ‘games’ children play. In playing one such game, the speaker comes face to face with an adult ‘game’. The story revolved around child sexual abuse. 

Darshan Jariwala presented No Tension, emphasising the issue of corruption and how, when a common man tries to get things done legally, it is worse than corrupt means.

Wonderland addressed the issue of how news channels and reporters focus on the negative alone. The good that people do can never be ‘breaking news’. Relationship Status is a monologue of a divorcee and the challenges of bringing up two children alone. But it isn’t just about handling the kids, it is also about how men’s make advances assuming that a single woman wants that attention. 

The seventh monologue Shobhit Patel was about this young guy who wants to go to the US. He narrates his story about how he played with this girl during the navratri. He even wanted to marry her but she didn’t want to go to the US because she loved her country and ends up inspiring Shobhit to forget his US dreams to stay back here. 

Lastly, The Uprising deals with the issue of environment and how its depletion at such a rapid rate could lead to disastrous consequences. 

Even though they were all very different stories, the monologue presentation bound them all very well. Rakesh Kochar, a business coach and an audience member, said, “The monologues were stunning. Especially the presentation - it was absolutely amazing.”

According to Vikram, the director, the inspiration came from a monologue he had written for an event held to commemorate 26/11. “I was asked to write a positive theatrical piece and it was received very well. So I decided to add seven more to it and make it a complete act,” he says. 

A complete act which is now playing to housefulls everywhere. Bombay Talkies highlights travails and tensions of the common man. Tales which when removed from Mumbai remain just as valid everywhere else too. That is what touches a chord with the audiences. 

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