Monday, August 18, 2008

Prithvi : keeping Theatre alive in Mumbai

The mushrooming multiplexes have dealt a severe blow to theatre in Mumbai. Hard to comprehend how inane bollywood masala flicks score over sublime plays crafted by groups like ekjute, ank, ipta, motley. Hats off to Prithvi Theatre ( and folks like Sanjana Kapoor) which provides a stage to these groups to bring us some splendid plays ...

I'd watched the historic 1000th run of "Hai Mera Dil" by Ank, a couple years back ... Dinesh Thakur's speech at the end exhorting the sparse audience to keep watching and supporting theatre was really moving. He had tears in his eyes and i had a lump in my throat.

Last weekend Piya and I were at Prithvi to watch ipta's "Kashmakash" :

Set in the Seventies, the protagonist ( Anjan Srivastava ) is influenced by his own son, brother in law ( Avtaar Gill ) local hoodlums and politicians to transform himself into a fictitious freedom fighter to earn a monthly pension from the government. Despite initial reservations, slowly he warms up to this new avatar leading to many humorous interludes ( specially the nok-jhok with his wife played by Sulabha Arya of Kantabai of Kal Ho Na Ho fame !!! ). The story takes a twist when he realizes that he has bitten off more than what he can chew and all the conniving folks who had convinced him to accept the pension had their own hidden agendas and were now out to exploit him.

The deceptions in human relationships, the dark side of indian politics and our collective loss of regard for freedom fighters ( symbolic for any individual who stands up to try and make a difference ) are the underlying messages brought out very explicitly in this hard-hitting play. A must-watch for all theatre lovers ... Anjan Srivastav is pure dynamite.

While at Prithvi do grab a bite at "Prithvi Cafe" ... its one of the coolest hang-out places in town.

The must-have is "Irish Coffee" with cream topping and a dash of rum ... a good warm up before you watch a great play !!!


  1. Not sure abt the theatre bit but the grub is good specially the lasagne.