November 16, 2008

A life in letters

2 childhood friends, more than a hundred letters and a sea of emotions.

That’s “Tumhari Amrita” – India’s longest running play.

16 years ago, playwright Javed Sidiqqui penned this fabulous play, which continues to spellbind theatre enthusiasts till date. Inspired by an American play, “Love Letters”, it’s the play that broke the myth that good theatre ought to have huge sets, change of costumes and drama of light.  Instead, here you’ll just see 2 chairs where the characters sit and read out the letters they’ve written to each other over a span of 35 years.

 




Amrita (played by Shabana Azmi) and Zulfi (played by Farookh Sheikh) exchange their first letters at the age of 8. Over the years, their letters grow longer and their relationship stronger. They share their darkest secrets, their fears, their sorrows without any inhibition. The result is a funny, poignant, melancholic chronicle of these two people who could neither live with each other, nor without.

The beauty of the play lies in the brilliant script and both the veteran artists do complete justice to it. Their characters draw more meaning with every new letter. Towards the end you cannot help but shed a tear on the tragic end of their beautiful relationship.

I watched the play day before yesterday and it will always remain an unforgettable experience for me. And I’d highly recommend it to anybody who even has the slightest inclination towards theatre.

 

17 comments:

~ ॐ ~ said...

Two brilliant actors, a nice thought, a beautifully written script, and just the right rendering of it is all it takes..

From your post, it looks like a must watch !!! wish I could... sometime I would !

bhumika said...

Script is the soul of any play. In a feature story in TOI, Farookh Sheikh said that there's a dearth of good scripts nowadays. But this play has one of the most brilliant scripts i've ever come across.

So yes, it is definitely a must-watch! I'm sure it'll soon come to delhi :)

Soulmate said...

I have heard a lot about this play. Even I wish I could watch this one at some point of time..

bhumika said...

@soulmate

This play became so popular that it even came up with a sequel - aapki soniya, with sonali bendre playing shabana's daughter. However, it could never compete against tumhari amrita.

Do watch it whenever you get the opportunity!

dharmabum said...

i watched a similar one with nasir shah and ratna pathak shah, quite a long tiem ago...

vineeta said...

I've seen Tumhari Amrita and for me stands for all the power of theatre and drama. the power of brilliant actors, a great script and the indescribably feeling of sitting in the darkness with all the action happening so close to you. And Shabana Azmi & Faroukh Sheikh have been actors I've loved since i can remember.

bhumika said...

@dharmabum

Naseeruddin and Ratna Pathak are yet another set of veterans. They haven't done any plays in a'bad lately. Hopefully, will get to see them sometime soon.

@vineeta

you spoke my heart! such brilliance is rare to find. The feeling of sitting in that darkness, witnessing these great artists mould into their characters so effortlessly - indescribable!

ray said...

Hi,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘space of my own’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

Cheers,

Preeti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Preeti said...

Is this the Bhumika I think it is? Nice to know you took to blogging. Wanted to say, neat job! :)

bhumika said...

@Preeti

Yes, this is Bhumika from DCS :) What a pleasant surprise!

And yes, you were the one who made me curious about the blogosphere during those MR classes ;) Thank you!

Anil P said...

I would like to see this one. Hopefully I can soon enough.

bhumika said...

@anil

yes, do watch it :)

Arch at Rang said...

Wow...you got me all nostalgic about Delhi and theatre....I used to love going to plays there.

Hopefully sometime in the future:-)

Arch

Manasa said...

Did you know both Shabana n Farooq were classmates during LLB? Both share a gr8 chemistry. 've seen the play on TV, its awesome.

bhumika said...

@Arch

Nothing can come close to the eperience of theatre. I'm sure bangalore also offers some good plays. But yes, Delhi is undoubtedly the hub. Hope you get to see this play sometime :)

@Manasa

Thanks for that interesting information. I didn't know this play was even telecast on TV.

Keep coming more often!

Gauri Gharpure said...

tumhari amrita is touching... farooque sheikh is brilliant.. we saw it in mumbai, 2004.. SPICMACAY, remember??! tht ws a whole lot of different fun and i have memories of the place attached to the play as well..