Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha - A review

I want to begin with stating I was really interested to watch this play for the longest time but each time there was some reason or the other that kept me from having my moments with incredible performing art. Sometime I was late and couldn’t get the seat I wanted to, and sometime it was on Friday making it impossible for me to reach there in time. But when you want something desperately you get it for sure. On a casual March weekend, when I was dead bored I spotted this play on ‘Book my show’, and guess what, it was supposed to be staged on a Saturday in the month of May. I knew I had to be there, and hence booked two tickets almost immediately, one for me and another for my husband.

“Mera woh matlab nahi tha” is the story of two people played by veteran actors Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta. Once in love, the elderly couple meet after more than three decades of separation and discuss their journeys, they confront, they argue, they love, and they cherish their past. Needless to mention, their journeys weren’t mundane and undemanding, they both had their shares of incredible toils and ecstasy. The acting maestros live every emotion with heart and soul as always. I have seen these actors in innumerable movies but believe me watching them live was nothing less than a lifetime experience. I have always loved plays, in fact enacted in several of them, of course not the famous ones, but the stage touches my heart. I have always loved the thrill of live audience and live reactions. The energy is generally incredible, infectious and palpable.

“Mera woh matlab nahi tha” is a saga of love, separation & reunion. Life may not always be rewarding, but their ought to be connections that are strong and real, the play celebrates that. It celebrates graying hair, wrinkled skin and that love which is not skin deep. I do not want to divulge the narrative, but there are scenes where the actors traverse from present to past and back, and I do not have words to describe their emoting capacities. Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta, are real, effortless and impacting, and if could I would have given them big hugs at the end of the show.

Starting with a comedy overtone, the plot evolves each moment and gradually reveals the emotional undertone. You probably wouldn’t know, when the crossover happens but you cherish the development silently. The writer and director, Rakesh Bedi has a small yet layered role to play, other actors including Satish Kaushik who appear only in the flashback videos do their bits brilliantly.

If you are a play lover, “Mera woh matlab nahi tha” is a must watch. I do not want to rate it, as the performers are beyond that.

pic courtesy: google images


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