We all have many layers to our personality but do we expose them to the outside world? More often than not, the real person remains hidden behind a veil. Though this holds true with all the sections of society, nowhere is this more pronounced than in the middle class who puts up a thick façade to hide its true feelings. But what happens when the façade falls off? Well, out comes the true personality which can be diametrically opposite to the one which they portray. The play, Patte Khul Gaye, is a hilarious take on the same.
“The play exposes the double standards in our society, especially among the middle class who drops guard when faced with adversity. And it is a reminder that people may not be what they show they are,” says veteran writer-director-actor Rakesh Bedi who also plays the role of Akela in the play.
Bedi, who plans to take this play across the world, conceived the story idea some years back. “I had been toying with the story idea for quite some time but was not getting time to put it on paper. It was only two months back that I finally wrote the script,” he says, adding that beginning with Delhi today, the play’s next halt will be Mumbai on November 3, after which it will travel to other cities.
Though set in today’s time, the play’s content flow is similar to the era when there were comedy serials on TV like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Golmaal etc. “Watching the play, I am sure you will get the flavour of movies made by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Chatterjee and Sai Paranjape – the times when content and not the technique was the king,” says Bedi. Something to which actor Anant Mahadevan agrees. “Sometimes, the comedy writing these days is so juvenile that you can’t stand it,” he says.
Mahadevan plays cosmetic surgeon Manoj Rai who hosts a dinner at his house where the drama unfolds. “It is an original play with an interesting concept that is sure to touch some raw nerves,” he says. Of all the three media – TV, films and theatre – it is theatre that gives Mahadevan a big high. “But doing this play has been challenging as I had not done theatre for quite some time. There is nothing better than a live performance. The applause one gets from the audience is unmatched, and an actor lives for it.”
Rupali Ganguly, who played Monisha Sarabhai in TV serial Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai essays the role of Manju Rai in Patte Khul Gaye. Ganguly, who stopped working after her son was born six years back, is eagerly looking forward to her comeback vehicle. “It is a comic drama but I am sure you will have something to take back home, and a number of husbands will have problems while returning home. We women do hide a lot of things from our partners not because we want to hide something from them or be untruthful but because we don’t want to hurt them. A veil exists in all relationships and the play tells us what happens when it falls off,” she says.
“It is a very funny play and I am sure the audiences will go crazy laughing at situations that erupt at various points. However, my character has no funny dialogues, except at one or two places in the second half,” says Kishwar Merchant who plays Shireen, a rich society woman who comes uninvited to the dinner.
Stating that she is nowhere near like Shireen in real life, Merchant says she had to prepare real hard for role. “I am a very simple person in real life. It took me good six-seven days to get into the skin of the character. But working with Rakeshji is such an honour,” she says.
ON: October 12,4:00pm & 7:00pm
AT: Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi
A bundle of fun
Patte Khul Gaye is the story of Dr Manoj Rai and his wife, Manju, who have invited their close group of friends for dinner. What happens when a high society damsel walks in this party which essentially consists of middle-class people?