It’s a material world where relationships are somewhat scathed by the pounding pressure on it, some by design, others self-created. So, is there really a way out of this spidery web of turbulent emotions or is this the new normal? “One will never know,” says Ashtam Neelkanth, who in his upcoming play 1500 Ka Dost, has studied this reality in the context of friendships, a universally valued inter-personal dynamic.
1500 Ka Dost sees Abhishek Yadav in the lead part.
He is supported by other actors such as Reha Sharma, his wife in the play, Praveen Pithambaran, his grandfather, and others.
Co-directed by Amit Tiwari and Rahul Saini, the comical satirical drama follows the journey and destination of friendship in an urban paradigm. How human relationships aren’t linear and how they demand steadfast investment for returns.
The episodes play out streams of popular thought that are common to the common man. “The play deals with different faces of friends and friendship and how the meaning of it changes over time. It brings the nostalgia of school days and how our friends meant everything to us,” says Neelkanth.
Working on a subject like this tested the relationship between the directors too. Though they’re close friends, dissimilarities and disagreements was not alien to them as it is between any group of friends. They had a different approach to thinking and also differed on accounts of the direction process. But to move beyond dissent they used the tool of communication. “Sometimes they both gave me more important as I was the scriptwriter too but at times even I had to change the script according to their vision,” he says.
That over the years the play has received repeat viewers has made Neelkanth more confident about the relatability of the play. There was a time when he anticipated the watcher’s response but not anymore. That doesn’t mean he has become complacent. But he has understood that art is a subjective matter and everybody’s take on it will be different. “Every piece has different layers, consciously or unconsciously crafted, and different audience members reach different layers. This process is interesting, not scary and we want to continue exploring this path,” he says.
1500 Ka Dost, March 30, at
7 pm, Lok Kala Manch,