In mid-July, some big Bollywood names took a break from films to watch a play instead. It was called Mr and Mrs Murarilal, a story about an ageing couple that meets in a park to sing, dance and have a picnic at night. The play stars Satish Kaushik and Meghna Malik in the lead, with Amit Pathak playing a night watchman. Dramatist and director Saif Hyder Hasan talks about the production:
I had one line in the beginning, and it stuck in my head even after my wife rubbished it. I started writing more lines. Mr and Mrs Murarilal became the play I wrote.
Light shade of dark
The play is about a serious subject, for loneliness in old age can be a curse. I wanted to avoid the grimness and focus on dreams and the rediscovery of life. The two main characters are people who have a sense of humour and they want to have fun.
Music and lyrics
I can’t visualise a production without songs. In this play, I wrote the songs before I wrote the script. It has three songs; one is rendered by Satish Kaushik, another by Amit Kumar and the third by Shail Hada.
I have tried to create a surreal atmosphere in the park, where the couple and the night guard meet. It is very bright and colourful. The elements, such as choreography by Sandip Soparrkar, the light design to convey shifts in mood and the old Hindi songs had to be evenly balanced.
The budget was decently high. It is my own money. I like to take risks. The play will be staged at Shri Satya Sai Auditorium, Lodhi Road, on September 17 and 18. Time: 5 pm & 8 pm. Ticket: Rs 500 to Rs 3,000, available on Bookmyshow