Where Did I Leave My Purdah, directed by Lilette Dubey, will be staged this weekend

Lilette Dubey’s association with Mahesh Dattani is an abiding one. Dance Like A Man, their first collaboration has had over 400 re-runs. This time the duo has created Where Did I Leave My Purdah that will be staged this weekend. Written by Mahesh Dattani and directed by Lilette Dubey, Where Did I Leave My Purdah is set against the famed company theatres from the 1950s to 1980s. The play traces the life of Nazia Sahiba, an octogenarian actor, and the upheavals she encounters in both her personal and professional life.

The story of Nazia is one that any modern Indian woman can relate to. “It is an amalgamation of many different characters. It is particularly identifiable for those women who have ambitions of their own, but who also long for a fulfilling personal life,” says Lilette over phone. “It is far easier for a man to pursue a career and have a good social life than it is for a woman. A woman has to pay a price for the path she chooses.”

Lilette says that women in the performing arts consider their work a “junoon” (passion) and they are torn between taking care of their families and profession. The indefatigable Zora Sehgal is one among the many women who inspired Mahesh and Lilette. “I had read her autobiography and found that she was an iconoclast, who lived her life on her own terms.”

Lilette says that the plot is seamless and the play is also a retrospective on theatre.

Where Did I Leave My Purdah will be performed at Ranga Shankara today and tomorrow for four shows. The cast also includes Soni Razdan, Neha Dubey, Sid Makker and Priyanka Karunakaran. Tickets are priced at Rs. 200 and are available at www.indianstage.in, www.bookmyshow.com and at the venue.