Review

NOW

Cast : Kayan Dadyburjor, Anahita Karanjia, Zervaan Bunshah, Snigdha Anand Prakash, Sonam Gaychen Wangdi

NOW Play Review


Ayushi Shah



 NOW Review
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NOW, written and directed by Kayan Dadyburjor, opened at Sophia auditorium, raising the curtain to an interview between Priya Mehta and a reporter. Through the interview, Priya Mehta takes us back in time to her then newly married life with Aakash Mehta, a young, upright social worker, and the turbulent fifteen years that follow.

The story begins when the couple moves to Colaba in South Mumbai, only to be harassed by the local party goons for filing a complaint against them. Aakash refuses to withdraw the FIR despite constant threats, and he tries to mobilise all those who had been wronged by the same people. However, he soon realises that no family wants to risk standing up. One day the police come knocking at the couple's door to arrest Aakash for a felony. Thus begins a journey that resonates with police brutality, political goons, the media, and the laggard court proceedings. Interestingly, as the plot progresses, this fairly predictable story takes an unexpected turn, forcing us to dwell deeper.

Kayan Dadyburjor, who has also taken on Aakash's role, does a fairly good job alongside fellow Trinity College of London student Anahita Karanjia who plays his wife Priya. Most of the cast is young, and their sincere effort makes up for their lack of experience. It is a treat to watch most of the cast together on stage in the second half. Since the actors play multiple parts, there is scope for clarity, as the proceedings do tend to get a little confusing.

NOW unveils itself in layers, delivered in little snippets as it goes back and forth in time, sometimes in action and sometimes through narration. Given its underlying themes, NOW (aptly titled) forays between issues that are as relevant as in the times past - raising pertinent questions about the impunity of the police when they act on behalf of their political masters and what it means for an individual to struggle against such a system. The play does tend to get preachy in parts; the social message overriding a more natural flow, but the overall ethos brought to the fore by an earnest cast, makes this production worth watching.

*Ayushi Shah has a Bachelors Degree in Mass Media with a Major in Journalism. She has worked in various media and in public relations. She enjoys theatre and has acted in and directed inter-college festival plays.

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