The Suitable Bride


    With the release of “what’s your Raashee”, A film made by Ashutosh Govarikar, I received a lot of calls. Some were out of sheer curiosity but most were of people who were either associated with my play A Suitable Bride, or were those who had seen/heard of the play. The best option to brief people for their queries and also revel in the nostalgia of the play A Suitable Bride, was to bring forth about one of the most favourite and popular play of mine! Almost a decade back, I was tremendously busy, working around the clock, as seven hit serials of mine were on air, running successfully and demanding a lot out of me. I had isolated myself from the theatre completely per my commitments to the “Tele” world, though I have always firmly believed that if performing for the camera was my LOVE, then performing on stage was my PASSION.

   On one such busy day, at the sets of “Hasratein”, Manhar Gadia, the producer of the play walked in with a script in hand to offer it to me. Yes, I blatantly refused his offer stating the fact that there was no time for theatre so far, as I knew how much one play could tax you out with daily rehearsals and stuff. Where was the time for so and moreover I do believe in my commitments? Once committed, forever committed! I literally saw him getting up with a heavy heart after my refusal but I maintained my indifference as I had no choice. While leaving his last words were “Madam, I had come to you with great expectations as only you could have justified this script of 12 roles, but my bad luck”. I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard this as I have always loved facing challenges in life and an actor like me needs such a break- through from routine work. The very next minute all I knew was that we were engrossed in major discussion regarding the project and he also agreed to my rehearsing in the nights after my pack-ups. You bet! Who was interested in sleep…? Not me

   On my first day of rehearsal, I met my director Mr. Naushil Mehta, a wonderful person, who yet wanted to work on the script, to etch out the 12 girls of the play, all to be played by one…Me! I could relate to his plight, so when I went home, I freshened up for yet a long night, sat down with paper  sheets to be sketched on by me, as I do believe in a little sound home-work. Next day when I handed the sheets to him I saw his eyes popping out as he could not believe that a so called star of soaps could be so dedicated and come out with such brilliant results, all 12 girls sketched from head to toe and their characteristics mentioned too. He was so impressed and inspired that he raves about it even today. Thereafter there was nothing to stop us, he would walk in with brilliant scenes and I would leave after fabulous rehearsing.

   Ashutosh was a friend of my director, when the word reached him of our fantastic work, he dropped in for the rehearsal and was so impressed that this play was mostly frequented by him. He had decided then to one day make a film on it, though he made a good film, but yet all feel that it could not match the performance of the play, and playing all the 12 girls live on stage, with different get-ups, voice, style, attitude in seconds was not an easy game. Such a difficult role was carried with such ease and finesse, only the power and strength of Lord Jesus enabled me to do so and make it history. This play also broke another record, it saw its golden jubilee, and it was that big a hit. No other English play had gone to this height, prior to it.

  This is why this play has been my all time favourite and has left an indelible mark on my heart and mind and also on the hearts of several people who witnessed it. Once the show would get over, the applause would echo in my ears endlessly. That’s the beauty of theatre that the result is right in front of you. However physically broken down I would be but mentally I used to be so elated, flying like an eagle, where no one could reach out and touch me. It made me feel so complete! Now the irony is that those days I was so busy that I could not take out time to fulfil the requirements for the Guinness book of Records, in spite of their query. Yes this pinches me to this day that my negligence made me miss it. Nevertheless I am proud of…A Suitable Bride!

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2 Comments

  1. Greetings from the UK! I still remember this play that I saw at Sophia college auditorium in 1998/99. And I marveled at your versatility and characterization in depicting all those 12 girls. This is definitely my favorite play.

  2. you are very very beautiful really


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