HAI MERA DIL Play Review

Farida Khanzada

Direction : Dinesh Thakur
Cast : Preeta Mathur Thakur, Aman Gupta, Atul Mathur, Shankar Iyer, Alok Mathur, Sumit Bhardwaj, Payal Sinha & Jai Prakash


Are you having dizzy spells? Do you have inexplicable bouts of acidity? Or better still, does your husband have chest pain and a nagging cough? Just hold on, before you visit your doctor - go watch Ank's HAI MERA DIL, which is perhaps the longest running show in the history of the Hindi stage. It's been 36 long years and 1067 shows to date.

This is one recreational activity you can indulge in and it is full of good humour. Madan (Aman Gupta) is happily married to a regular housewife (Preeta Mathur), who is content with her hearth and husband. But Madan is not happy with life.His big trouble is that he's simply neurotic about his health and is constantly plagued by doubts about his well-being. He's simply obsessed with getting thorough medical check-ups done and during one such frequent check-up, he accidently overhears the doctor's telephonic conversation "giving him few weeks to live."

Of course, our man jumps to the conclusion and plans to face the impending disaster cleverly and courageously. His first concern is that his wife is well taken care of - after his demise! He employs the help of his drunken lawyer friend for it. He even succumbs to buying three "Samadhi" plots for himself, his wife and her second husband! He sets about arranging for his wife's re-marriage to her college friend Mohan (Rohan Shroff) - not that he likes this brash and flashy fellow - but then, as they say beggars can't be choosers!

This is a hilarious farce adapted very wittily by Ranbir Singh from the English play SEND ME NO FLOWERS. Lines like 'Patni ghar ko swarg banati hai aur pati ko swargvasi ' evoke waves of spontaneous guffaws. Although a boundless comedy, it remains within bounds of good taste - it never pokes fun at anybody and makes the most of all its gags.

Aman Gupta plays the afflicted, suffering hero with great persistence while Preeta Mathur is so entrenched in the character of the wife that she is absolutely endearing. Ditto for Alok Mathur who plays the ebullient salesman of the 'samadhi' plots with absolute glibness. Also the drunkard friend deserves a pat on his back for his convincing swagger and wonderful dialogue delivery. In all, the play works big time. Next time you see it playing, go and get a good laugh.

*Deepa Ranade is a film and theatre reviewer. She has been an entertainment journalist for over fifteen years.

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