Divyani Rattanpal

Direction : Saurabh Nayyar
Writer : Saurabh Nayyar
Cast : Ashish Shukla, Purnanand Wandhekar, Saurabh Nayyar, Girish Sharma, Annapurna Soni, Amit Purohit, Sarthak Shukla, Arvind Rai, Shivika Taneja


A story has a beginning, middle and end.

But in the drama, GHATNAAYEIN, the latter two are hijacked by characters protesting against the hegemony of the writer.

Must they always be puppets at the hands of the writer's whims?

Say only what dialogues they are given, or feel as they are dictated by the subtext? Worse, is their life only as long as the writer takes an interest in them?

These are interesting questions to be pondered through D for Drama's one-hour play, written and directed by Saurabh Nayyar. It goes off to an excellent start with such capable actors as Purnanand Wandhekar, Sarthak Shukla and Nayyar himself.

Nayyar shines even writing wise, with a brilliant satire on smoking and license raj.

However, the play does meander a bit towards the middle, as the first story's fictional world comes to a grinding halt with the writer's introduction.

There are also some long, self-important dialogues about the workings of the writer's mind, which, entertaining in the beginning, tend to sound monotonous as time passes.
But all that is forgiven with patches of really clever writing and some more delightful acting.

There's Annapurna Soni's noteworthy performance as alcohol personified. Meanwhile, Nayyar and Wandhekar together show a realistic portrayal of drunkenness, free from all loudness. Also, Ashish Shukla as the writer is a delight to watch.

However, credit must be given to the real writer, Saurabh Nayyar, for keeping the pace of the play in complete control and adding a generous amount of humor to the story. After all, it is the wit which is the real charm of the play.

After watching GHATNAAYEIN, one will obviously come out smiling. It is a play to be enjoyed by all age brackets. Perhaps the only people who would not like it are the writer's own characters, who are busy staging a rebellion, and quite literally at that!

*Divyani has worked as a journalist for The Quint, where she was also among the Founding Team members. While there, she also hosted and produced a podcast and fronted several standups. She's also worked for The Times of India group. She's now a theatre and film actor.

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