By Manju Sampat 

Sakaar Creation la
unched their new Hindi play “Blind Date”, which is an urban family entertainer, last night at Bandra’s Rang Sharda theatre. Pranav Tripathi wrote the original script of this play in Gujarati and the Hindi adaptation has been done by Mr Raman Kumar. Pranav Tripathi has been active in Hindi and Gujarati theatre for the last 20 years, as a writer, producer, and actor. He has worked with well known artists like Smriti Irani, Rohini Hattangadi, Paresh Rawal, Manoj Joshi, Rakesh Bedi and Javed Akhtar. In this play, “Blind Date”, TV actor Jay Soni of ‘Sasural Genda Phool’ fame, Cheshta Bhagat from ‘ Kuch Rang Pyarka’ and Pritam Singh who has taken part in Big Boss and Nach Baliye, make their debut in theatre. Harsh Badheka, the play’s producer, is very young and this is his maiden attempt at theatre production. He was the assistant director in films like Happy bhang Jayegi and Love per Square Foot. 
The story of “ Blind Date” revolves around Dhara, a travel freak who wants to see the whole world. Dhara is going to be married to Nisarg, an engineer who has come to India from the US, to work on a project to introduce the bullet train in India. Her parents Vishal and Minakshi have fixed this match. Though initially Dhara likes Nisarg, and he is plainly very much in love with her, Dhara soon realizes that they are not meant for each other and are completely different personalities with different interests and sensibilities. Nisarg is too technical and only interested in matters from a scientific point of view, while Dhara is more sensitive and romantic. Because of Nisarg’s carelessness, their car meets with an accident and Dhara is injured and unfortunately becomes blind from this accident. Bunty, her father’s younger brother, refuses to let Dhara be handicapped by her blindness. He engages Pawan, who is also blind, to help and train Dhara to overcome her handicap and lead a normal life and live life to the fullest. Pawan, alias Bajrangi bhai, is a colourful character who alternates between being a Hanuman devotee, and a strong arm guy. Pawan instils a lot of confidence in Dhara and teaches Dhara to “live in hope”. He helps her realize her dream of seeing the world despite the accident. These scenes are beautifully staged, and monuments like the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Taj Mahal, and others are lit on stage in neon lights. Dhara imagines that she is actually seeing them. Needless to say there are twists and turns in the plot, when Dhara falls in love with this stranger who helps to turn her life around. However, Nisarg is still very much in love with Dhara, and the unexpected ending highlights that “All’s well that ends Well”. Thus the play also sends out an inspirational message of loyalty, love and meeting life’s challenges head on despite adversities. 

Jay Soni, as Nisarg, fits his role well. He claims to be a “director’s actor”. Cheshta Bhagat as Dhara, is very convincing and so is Pritam Singh as Pawan. They both seem to have handled the challenge of shifting from TV to theatre acting well. Pranav Tripathi, the writer of this play, is quite the scene stealer as Bunty, and has most of the comic and slapstick dialogues. He says that they have “ treated the production of this play no less than that of a movie”. The sets by Jai Chaube and the direction by Prasad Khande are also up to the mark. The second act was taut and had plenty of action, though it was exaggerated sometimes! However, the first act could do with some editing. Despite this, “Blind Date”, has all the ingredients in place for an enjoyable evening of theatre for its targeted audience. 

Another show is scheduled for Sunday 19th August 2018, 7:30pm , Sophia Bhabha Hall, Breach Candy. 
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