Intriguing love triangle
Mahesh Bhatt’s play Hamari <g data-gr-id="31">Adhuri</g> Kahani which was staged in the capital recently is an anachronistic, tragic romance that strikes an emotional chord, yet, makes one dismiss it as a regressive piece of art. Directed by Happy <g data-gr-id="32">Ranajit</g>, with a present-day setting, the treatment of the plot and characters belong to a bygone era. The story, with its verbose, melodramatic and regressive dialogues, along with outdated metaphors and symbolism, fits into the mould perfectly. An intriguing tale, nevertheless, it is all about love. It is an engaging story of a married lady bound by the shackles of society, yearning for true love.
Based on novel All That Could Have Been, which is co-written by <g data-gr-id="40">Suhrita</g> Sengupta and Mahesh Bhatt, Bhatt’s protégé Imran Zahid essays the role of Aarav, a rich and suave hotelier who falls in love with an already married florist, Vasudha, played by Rachaittri Gupta. Vasudha’s husband Hari, portrayed by Viren <g data-gr-id="41">Basoya</g>, showcased a broad spectrum of emotions, ranging from a possessive husband to a harassed victim of circumstances seething with anger to the subdued psychotic. Recounted in a non-linear manner and packed with back stories, what held the attention were the powerful performances by the main protagonists. The highlight of the play was a soulful song, sung by Mahesh Bhatt, which enthralled the audience.
Mahesh Bhatt and <g data-gr-id="33">Suhrita</g> Sengupta have penned this semi-biographical convoluted saga, with well-etched characters that are intense and complex. High on emotional quotient, he leaves his imprint with the well-structured, tight and intelligently-woven script. But it is the cliched, archaic and effusive expositions that nail the narrative. Woman power for the <g data-gr-id="35">ace</g> director, Hamari <g data-gr-id="34">Adhuri</g> Kahani is a love triangle, but the core issue is whether a woman should take up the role of Sita, or wake up to Radha in her.
This story is important because India finds itself at the crossroads today, with the pull of tradition and the endeavour to break free of conventional <g data-gr-id="36">bondages</g> both existing simultaneously. This story negotiates the cultural roadblocks and barricades that stand in the path of Indian women’s self-emancipation. Hamari <g data-gr-id="38">Adhuri</g> Kahani follows the overriding trend seen through all his movies: the steady transformation of his female protagonist from being initially vulnerable and shaky, to managing to ‘breakaway’ by the end of the story. And breakaway comes through her own efforts. She finds her voice through her own struggles.
Bhatt concedes that his women characters are strong because he had always seen his mother as the most powerful person “someone who dared to live life on her own terms. ‘She had organic evolution.” This, in a way, explains why Bhatt felt most at ease with women who, like his mother, were solitary in nature. The play takes the viewers’ place closer to a single woman’s journey in modern India in a different manner.