Deepa Gahlot

Direction : Atul Satya Koushik
Writer : Atul Satya Koushik
Cast : Anup Soni, Vinay Jain and Monisha Singh Katial


What happens when the communication between a couple reduces to non-stop bickering? Atul Satya Koushik’s new play, MY WIFE’S 8TH VACHAN, attempts to answer this question in a comic fashion.

Madhur (Anup Soni) and Mahak (Monisha Singh Katial) have been married for 15 years, but the spark has long been dimmed, and with nothing in common, the two spend their days quarreling. Their daughter got so fed-up that she fled to a boarding school and refuses to return. In the interest of brevity Koushik does not go into the reasons for this bitterness in their relationship—it is assumed that this is a common occurrence in most marriages; it’s just that the degree of verbal vitriol is higher than normal.

Then a man from the past (Vinay Jain) lands up, to remind Mahak of a promise she had made to him years ago, It would be a spoiler to reveal what that was, suffice it to say that his presence and his intimate knowledge of their ups and downs, force the couple to confront their problems.

It is not a plausible scenario, they could have evicted the interloper from their home at any time; that they don’t simply means that deep down they are willing to dissect their marriage.

There could be worse reasons for marital strife than not remembering the names of all the members of the spouse's extended family, or forgetting where things are kept in the house, but Koushik treats with a light touch what could have been a solemn subject, and he has got Anup Soni to shed his serious image (though his signature line from TV’s Crime Patrol, about being satark and savdhaan has been cleverly dropped into the dialogue) to play an immature man, whose dream is to be a stand-up comedian, without having much talent in that area. Mahak is a social media influencer, whose constant clicking and posting and counting likes, could annoy the most patient of husbands.

Understanding the taste of Mumbai audiences, Koushik’s set of the apartment is flashy, which does add value to the production, maybe he could have gone for better costumes too—Katial’s outfit is particularly unflattering. However, the performances are competent; the relatively short running time, means that the play wraps up before the humour of the interloper gag dries up. MY WIFE’S 8TH VACHAN is not particularly insightful about modern urban marriage, but then perhaps it wasn’t meant to be more than a cheeky little crowd-pleasing comedy.

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

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