Aavi Vanda Maapillai’ was meant to tickle the funny bone, and it did so convincingly
Some recent comedy plays that this writer watched didn’t have a ghost of a story. Not so Sathyasai Creations’ ‘Aavi Vanda Maapillai.’ The play, which won various awards at the recent Kodai Nataka Vizha, has a ghost of a story, and the main character in the play is a ghost too! The story is simple -- an up and coming doctor (Maapillai Ganesh) is helped by a benign ghost (Bobby), and the doctor’s life is coasting along merrily, until he marries.
That’s when the ghost, which exits and enters his body from dusk to dawn, discovers its long lost love Kesavan. K.S. Palani as Kesavan was fa(u)ntastic!
The hero’s life gets more and more complicated as the ghost now revives its love interest, leading to hilarious situations. As the web gets more tangled, one begins to wonder how the playwright is going to unravel the knotted skein of unexpected twists. Although it might seem easy on the surface, it couldn’t have been easy to sort out the mess, where the ghost’s lover is also the brother-in-law of the hero, and the magician brought in to drive the ghost away is the ghost’s father, while the ghost itself takes up residence in the body of the hero! It is rather complex, even to read, isn’t it?
But the playwright does manage to find his way out of this maze. The play could so easily have strayed into the territory of the vulgar, given all these jumbled up ties, but to the credit of the playwright (Ezhichur Aravindan), there wasn’t a whiff of vulgarity. The jokes were well thought out and delivered breezily with a good sense of timing, by all the actors.
Is it a believable story? Of course it isn’t. But then the play begins with a voiceover saying that the purpose of the play is just to make the audience laugh, and in this the play succeeds. Sometimes, it is nice to spend a weekend, watching a funny play, with all one’s worries forgotten. If that is what one likes, then one must watch this play.