This was a montage of three plays adapted by Nadira Babbar's theatre group Ekjute from short stories by celebrated Hindi/Urdu writer, Munshi Premchand (1880 - 1936). Naya Vivah is the clichéd tale of a cuckold husband. A rich merchant remarries far too quickly after his dutiful first wife dies. The perky young thing he brings into his home seems more interested in the cook's son. Bhade Bhaisaab is about the strained relationship between two brothers who live away from home. The elder of the two is gravely serious and perpetually studying, the younger a gadabout. And yet the younger brother passes exam after exam while the older one keeps failing. The final play, Deeksha, describes the moral turpitude of a young lawyer who resists the temptation of alcohol for years before finally succumbing to it, to the detriment of his career and his family.
The performance was completely unremarkable. Naya Vivah was especially dull, dragged down both by an unoriginal plot and mediocre acting. The satire in all three plays was very unsophisticated. The actors made use of stereotypically Indian dramatic practices mirroring a poorly produced television soap. Bhade Bhaisaab redeemed the production to a certain extent. The actor playing the elder brother was particularly skilled and the piece was marked by sharp dialogues (although I must admit a lot of the idioms flew over my head). Deeksha lacked direction and was full of unnecessary scenes. The tendency to moralize in Hindi and Urdu literature is very off-putting and all three plays toe this line although Naya Vivah and Deeksha do so more crudely. The two narrators with their faux innocence were not endearing as much as annoying. I don't understand why Indian theatre doesn't dispense with narrators when they are clearly unnecessary.
Lackluster acting and unoriginal plots contributed to a largely unexceptional performance.