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Disability is in the mind

Wednesday, August 15, 2018
By Deepa Gahlot

This is a kind of theatre too, not meant for aficionados, but for an occasional audience that is happy to see celebrities on stage; if it is a comedy so much the better.
'Blind Date', directed by Prasad Khandekar, adapted by Raman Kumar from Pranav Tripathi's script, tries to make a cocktail of romance, comedy and high drama, with mixed results.

Watching the first show is perhaps not ideal, because it is all over the place, with many superfluous scenes. The actual point of the plot does not even kick in till the play is almost halfway through.

Nisarg (Jay Soni) and Dhara (Cheshta Bhagat) are engaged to be married even though they are not perfectly compatible; he is an engineer (working on the bullet train!) who only thinks in tech terms, while she is a travel agent who tends to get poetic over nature.

Nisarg is driving and talking on the phone over Dhara's protests, when the car meets with an accident. Nisarg is unhurt but Dhara loses her sight. Her life, and that of her parents (Ani Shah, Sanjay Bhatia), comes crashing down. She wallows in self pity, till her uncle, Bunty (Pranav Tripathi) traces a Hanuman devotee Pawan aka Bajrangi (Pritam Singh) to help her regain her confidence.

It would be a spoiler to reveal how he achieves this, but these scenes were the most watchable – funny and moving.

A Bhojpuri spouting Pritam Singh channels his inner Bachchan, but owns the stage when he is on. Pranav Tripathi is comfortable in his comic role; the two lead actors still need to work on modulating their speech – they either mumble or shout.

'Blind Date' has a worthwhile premise – that disability need not mean the end of life; with some trimming and polishing, it could be vastly improved.

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