Some facts about the play Tumhari Amrita I watched yesterday at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall.

  • It has been running for 13 years!
  • With the original cast of Farooque Shaikh and Shabana Azmi
  • Uses no props except two tables and chairs and a whole lot of letters
  • It’s directed by Feroze Khan
  • The play also has a sequel called Aapki Soniya
  • It’s an adaption of Love Letters by AR Guerney

It was a seamless performance by the two stars. And since there wasn’t much movement to distract you, they had to depend on their words to keep the audience captivated through about one and a half hours. Of course, having performed it countless times, the actors probably can sleep through it. But you wouldn’t guess from their expressions. Shabana has a great voice and stage presence.

The play explores the relationship between the two protagonists built up largely on the basis of their correspondence over 37 years. It’s sad at times, touching and funny at others. All in all, a really great watch. If it’s coming to your city, make sure you go and grab the tickets!

Sitting through the performance, I suddenly remembered all those love letters I have written in the enthusiasm of my younger years. And I did write quite a bunch. I wonder where they are sometimes. Maybe they’ve been been burnt. Maybe they’re wrapped up in soft muslin and are lying in the depths of someone’s cupboard (wishful thinking, ay?).

But I still remember the longest letter I’ve written. It was about 38 pages long. I had a fascination for those crisp onion pages, which crackle when you turn. That’s the paper I wrote most of them on! I wonder now, what I said in those letters more than 10 years ago!

Would I smile and laugh out loud if I came across one of them today? Would I express myself differently? Most probably, yes.

But do you remember the first love letter you received? Or the longest one you wrote? Or one you keep till today because it’s precious to you? Or one that changed your life? Or maybe you’re never written one at all?!

10 thoughts on “Of love letters

  1. shit… when was the play..its high time i need a newspaper soon. Is it playing today…i so desperately wanted to take my friend for it. was it in english or hindi?

  2. Lavannya: Actually I thought about you when I got the tickets, but I wasn’t sure whether you’d want to spend so much on a play!! The tickets were slightly pricey. It was only one performance but hopefully they will come back to Bangalore sometime. You must catch it then. I know you’ll like it!

  3. Love letters – although I’ve not written any, I did receive quite a bit of them, some from people I didnt even have the privilege of meeting!!!

    There was this “one” letter which was very special. I got back home one day, and I find this neatly gift wrapped bottle kept outside my apt. It was an old fashioned champaigne bottle with a letter in it. The letter was written on burnt paper and rolled into the bottle. The words were few, but I remember having read it at least a hundred times that night, trying to unravel the marvel of that particular writing. It was just splendid! Thanks for bringing back all those sweet memories.

    As to what happened to the letter – I gave it back to the girl who wrote it, coz I simply cudn’t keep it at home lest someone (mom?) should find out! Ahh, nostalgia…

  4. While i was packing my stuff to move into B’lore from Chennai, i happenned to notice a big cover full old luv letters.

    Dont know why i retained them in the first place. May be, when one gets really old in life, these letters might evoke a smile!

  5. ek so solah chaand ki raatein ek tumharey kaandhe kaa til.gili mehandi ki khushbu..zhuth muuth kein shikavein kuchh….

    A blog on Love letters and Movie like Izzazat on TV ..enough to make one senti….

  6. Thanks anita..i’ve seen the play more than once actually. Once in Mumbai, when i remember the entire audience sobbing … it was great…

    and then in Baroda, back home, My family hosted the play and the stars..was nice to meet them all…:)

  7. lovely post anita. yeah, infact after watching the play i realized i had lost the letters i had received from my ex bf. wish i had kept them more carefully.

  8. i saw TA 2 years back in bangalore….

    it was amazing to see a play with 2 protaganists creating a world with mere rendition of letters…

    wish all love affairs would last life spans like that…

    when love gets its own life…

    all said and done…if i remember well these werent love letters in exact sense..

    letters of longing and the sheer bond of belonging thru words…

    have never written love letters in life…

    so cant say what it would be to read them again…

    but surely would be akin to coming across some old collage i made or some flower tucked in the pages of an old book…

    memories…shelved away..

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