Theatre Funny, sad and treasured memories form part of the play ‘The Blue Mug'
Remember the song …Magar mujhko lautado bachpan ka saawan, woh kaagaz ki kashti, woh baarish ka paani…? It is one such bachpan ke din actor Rajat Kapoor remembers as the play The Blue Mug unfolds at Shilpakala Vedika on Saturday. Memories of days of innocence are still fresh in his mind — living with a joint family in Delhi, celebrating festivals together and the joy of munching butta (corn), eating hot pakodas and malpua on lazy afternoons. While he goes on a flashback trip, we shift our focus to another actor Sheeba Chadda as she narrates her tryst with blue and green pebbles.
Munish Bharadwaj in a fun-filled chatter talks about the travails of studying in an all-boys school. Vinay Pathak brings up his circus memories and the nightmares he had after his encounter with a weird joker. It was just 15 minutes to the play and we experience a sense of déjà vu. The pangs of growing-up remain as memories. We might not remember all the events but the memories of some silly, tragic and unforgettable moments stay intact.
As the monologues continue and the four actors speak candidly of the happenings in their lives, we are introduced to a duo – a doctor and a patient (Konkana Sen Sharma and Ranvir Shorey), who has memories of his young days but does not remember anything beyond an age. Hemant Kumar's soulful Zindagi pyaar ki do chaar ghadi hoti hai… plays in the background as Ranvir (who is middle-aged but thinks he is 21), recounts his family's shift from Punjab to Mumbai, their business, his friends Lucky and Happy and the movie Shakti …starring Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. The funny-yet-poignant scenes are splendid (thanks to Ranvir's brilliant portrayal of a disturbed man with a Punjabi accent).
The scenes shift constantly from bits and pieces of memories to scenes where Ranvir struggles to remember and Konkana helps him in this endeavour. The actors' recollection and their on-stage interactions evoked a range of emotions and the audience just went with the flow. As for the name The Blue Mug, actor Rajat Kapoor talks about his favourite blue mug which was gifted to him by a friend.
Directed by Atul Kumar and presented by Seagram's 100 Pipers The Blue Mug draws inspiration from Oliver Sack's The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat. There were no props, no fancy costumes and the narrative tickles your funny bone as much as it tugs at your heart strings.
The actors played themselveson stage . It was hard to pick one actor who excelled among the lot as all of them kept the audience hooked to the narrative.