Not everyone's cup of tea
The play "Tea, Coffee or Me?" had humour but quite a few improbable situations
COMEDY OF ERRORS A scene from the play
I waited for the aunt. It would end, if she arrived. The play was not unbearable and the first half did not lack in humour. But in the second, the humour had to be beaten out. And that's when I wished she would hurry.
The Hindi play "Tea, coffee or me?" directed by Sunil Shah and written by Mihir Bhuta was recently staged at Taj Coromandel.
It starts with a tense Sarang (Sunil Barve) waiting for his rich, grim aunt to arrive. He hopes to get money from her to start a pharmaceutical company. Sarang wants to marry Rupa (Ritu Chaudhary) and pretends to be a doctor to win her. The day his aunt is to arrive from South Africa, his school-friend Narang (Swapnil Joshi) lands. Narang threatens to blow Sarang's cover to Rupa, if he is not allowed to stay on for six months with free boarding and food. Narang, an artiste, asks for a model to be sent from an agency and in walks Tanya (Bhairavi Goswami). Rupa's mother, Rama (Komolika Guha), disapproves of her relationship with Sarang and wants her to marry an artiste instead. She goes to Sarang's house unannounced to meet him. When she arrives, the couple has had a tiff and is out of the house trying to make up. The model, thinking that she is Sarang's aunt (she has been informed of her arrival by Narang), pretends to be his fiancé. Why? Abandon reason to watch this play.
It is meant to be a situational comedy, but some situations have been manufactured for the laughs. For example, Rama's mother gets hyperactive on sedatives and can be put to sleep by crowing and a man who has to hurry into the nearest toilet on the mention of the word paani (water). "Laughter is our only weapon," said Jayant Hemdev, the anchor, at the beginning of the play. But when we use it to fight phantoms and not situations, it is hysterical. Hysteria is tiring. Stereotyping the model as all looks and no brains and the one-liner thrown at her every now and then "Thum socho math, baaki sab first class hai" (Don't think. The rest is first class) rankle.
Rama and one of Sarang's clients (Dr. Pratap played by Prithvi Zutshi) turn out to be long lost lovers. And the play ends with three happy couples Rupa and Sarang, Rama and Dr. Pratap and Narang and Tanya. The bell rings to announce the arrival of the aunt and Sarang, now forgiven by Rupa for his deceit, fears no more.
The actors are good and do not lack in energy that is demanded of them by the play. There is plenty of humour, but they come in spurts. In the end, the play comes off looking like the poster boards in coffee shops with many yellow post-its that have smart lines, but no one, connecting theme.
The show was organised as a fundraiser by Guild of Service and Madras Esplanade Round Table 30.
Send this article to Friends by