Review

I KILLED MY MOTHER/ IT WASN'T MY FAULT

I KILLED MY MOTHER/ IT WASN'T MY FAULT Play Review


Deepa Gahlot


Direction : Mallika Shah
Writer : Mallika Shah
Cast : Shreya Sharma, Astha Gulati, Dusha, Meghna Manglani, Riya Soni and Mithil Raj Goswami


 I KILLED MY MOTHER/ IT WASN'T MY FAULT Review


It is generally believed that youth is supposed to be carefree, particularly for those belonging to financially comfortable backgrounds. But once the teens have been left behind, a different set of pressures come in, and social media throws term like YOLO and FOMO, that cause stress, if not downright despair.

Mallika Shah, writer-director of the intriguingly titled I KILLED MY MOTHER/ IT WASN'T MY FAULT, is in her twenties, like the protagonist of the play; the age by which you are expected to settle down, with career picked, partner chosen and possibly marriage in sight. But what if life does not follow the given road map? The 25-year-old woman imagined by Shah is surrounded by ‘inner voices' (played by Astha Gulati, Dusha, Meghna Manglani, Riya Soni), harpies that harangue her relentlessly, like social media trolls.

It does not help that on one awful day, she overslept, missed a meeting and lost her job, her run-in with her mother ended in a slap, and her Tinder date at a party full of strangers turned out to be a disaster. Without the benefit of experience or hindsight, having lived a sheltered life, never been forced to face any real emotional or social upheavals, this can feel like the end of the world, and all she can whine when the band of inner voices slash at her, is "it wasn't my fault."

If there is a sane spot in that possibly life-changing day, it is the open-hearted chat with an auto driver, who tells her that he is an engineering student, when she tries to explain "binary" to him.

It is a typical Mumbai story, the young womanâ€"still a girl-- comes across as a spoilt and privileged brat, but, the angst is real, the insecurity and disappointment she feels is genuine. The next morning may just offer a whole new world of opportunity, but at the back of the mind is always a niggling doubtâ€"what if life does not turn out like a romcom? What would her Insta feed look like then? For a young person with no serious problems, that could be like a tragedy.

Shah writes with empathy and humour; directing her first play, she reaches across to her audience of mostly young people, who surely hear and perhaps relate to the woman's minor traumas. The technical glitches at the small venue could be ironed out; the performers are all bright and energetic, and Shreya Sharma brings to the lead character a right degree of helpless confusion that makes her endearing instead of exasperating.

Hopefully, Mallika Shah will write more plays-- Gen Z could do with some astute representation. Films and serials are still trying to make sense of Millennials.

*(Deepa Gahlot is a journalist, columnist, author and curator. Some of her writings are on deepagahlot.com).

   I KILLED MY MOTHER/ IT WASN'T MY FAULT Play Schedule(s)
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