Udaan’s 'To Be or Not To Be' provided the audience with a few laughs and something to ponder upon

On a balmy summer evening Udaan staged their Hindi comedy play To Be Or Not To Be at Lamakaan. Adapted from the Marathi play Nirop, To Be Or Not To Be is about a despondent Deenanath who is fed up with everything in his life going awry. He’s been on a job hunt for over six months with no luck and his girlfriend Meenal Mishra has dumped him. In the face of rejection all he wants to do is end his life; except he can’t seem to figure out how. All he knows is that it’s got to be done before 4.55p.m.

There’s a noose hanging from the ceiling and ready for him in his room but Deena is not sure it will work. As he stands contemplating how to commit suicide his best friend Prakash walks in and realises what is happening. Instead of dissuading him Prakash is first curious to know why Deena plans to kill himself, what he plans to do with his stuff and if he will leave a suicide note behind to save his near ones the trouble of going through a police investigation. He finally leaves after Deena bequeaths him his fountain pen.

As Deena again attempts to go about ending his life he is once again interrupted by his Tamilian landlord Krishnan Iyer, M.A., South Central Railways. Followed by his Mausi who had lent him a stove, then a Gujarati Baniya, the postman and finally his former girlfriend. Each one of them seems to have their own agenda and nobody seems to really want to dissuade the suicidal protagonist.

How one letter brought by the postman finally changes things for Deena forms the rest of the plot. Though a comedy, the play did not elicit as many laughs, but did have a few comic moments. It certainly left the audience with something to think about; an underlying message about how we live in a world where it is a ‘each to his own’ policy.

Suresh Kumar as the nosy landlord and Poonam Chandan Golecha as the greedy mausi providing good comic interludes. Sunjit Rao as Deenanath is good and effectively portrays the frustration of an out-of-job jilted lover. Vinayak Raikhelkar as the pragmatic friend is convincing. The rest of the cast too provided ample support.