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Of love letters

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?!


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