It’s like a double-edged sword for director Rakesh Bedi, who presents the city premier of the play, Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha, with Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta as the protagonists. According to Bedi, the best thing and the worst thing about working with Kher and Gupta is that they are seasoned artistes. While the positive is that they understand the characters of the narrative well, working hard on their respective role, on the other hand, their experience compels them on becoming ‘reasoned’ actors who question the reason behind each scene. But, it’s in midst of this that the director and actors find common ground, taking the script through an evolutionary journey of its own. This is exactly what happened with Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha.
Preetam Kumar Chopra and Hema Roy, who were deeply in love with each other in high school, had to unfortunately separate due to circumstances of the time. One day, 35 years later, they meet again to discover the truth behind their separation. What they realise upon their meeting is how different the other person actually is from the opinion they held about them through these long years. “The very genesis of the play is first love,” says Bedi, adding, “It’s a script that will resonate with many. It poses many questions but never fails to entertain the audiences. One of the highlights is a guest appearance by me,” he laughs.
Incidentally, the line mera woh matlab nai tha is one of the most commonly used by Bedi. That people would relate to it at once was his conviction. “During one of the last days of rehearsals, my elder daughter insisted that she wanted to see the opening show. I brushed her request aside saying it wasn’t possible as we were falling short of tickets. Thankfully, I managed to convince her. But, bad luck quickly followed me. During the same time, I was chatting with a female friend to whom I wrote, ‘ya darling, you are most welcome for the show. I will keep good seats for you sweetheart.’ My wife read this chat and yelled at me saying how come I don’t have tickets for my daughter, and have them ready for a friend. At that time to pacify her, I must have said mera woh matlab nai tha at least a hundred times to wriggle out of this trickey situation,” says Bedi, letting out a belly laugh.