The Aditya Birla Group’s theatre initiative Aadyam has yet another winner on their hands. Their play Jab Khuli Kitaab which has been written and directed by theatre veteran Saurabh Shukla, was performed at Andrews Auditorium over the weekend. This play has a totally unique script and this production by Oxymoron Productions was most engrossing. The director has ensured that at no point does the play become static and it constantly moves along at a nice brisk pace.
Jab Khuli Kitaab is the story of a senior couple who are living in the mountains. Gopal (Saurabh Shukla) and Anusuya (Irawati Mayadev), seem to have lived a happy and fulfilling life. She has been in and out of a coma for two years and Gopal has looked after her beautifully. However, once she comes out of this coma, Anusuya feels compelled to make peace with herself, when she realises that her end is just around the corner. Soon skeletons come spilling out as the couple are suddenly confronted with a murky chapter from their past. After forty eight years of marriage, though Gopal is deeply in love with his ailing wife, Anusuya, he decides to divorce her after he finds out about her affair from many years ago! Their comfortable life is thrown upside down and this includes their relationship with their three children and their spouses, who come to visit their sick mother. Just when things seem like they could not get worse, Gopal and Anusuya discover that it is never too late for a second chance at happiness.
Saurabh Shukla as Gopal is the star of this show and he plays his role to perfection. Irawati as Anusuya is a very able support as are the children, Ravi Mahashabde who plays Parmesh the eldest son and Kanak Khanna, their daughter Sujata. Kapil Kumar, as Jignesh their son in law is also very good. However, special mention must be made of Danish Husain, who was excellent as the divorce layer. The role seemed to fit him like a glove.
The songs and dances in this production fill in for the Sutradhar and are an excellent link and commentary in this play. The choreography, musical compositions and lead singing by Ritajaya Banerjee are really wonderful. The set and lighting design by Raghav Prakash Mishra are most effective, especially the scene where snow is shown falling so gracefully.
Aadyam’s third play of its fourth season, Jab Khuli Kitaab, is both funny and touching and this family drama-comedy is bound to take you on a roller coaster of emotions, but leave you feeling warm and full of love at the end. It is a love story for all ages and this play is bound to ensure a memorable evening out at the theatre for the whole family.