The play Yeh Dil Abhi Bhara Nahi takes place within a single set of a home in Pune. The focus of the protagonist Arun Nagarkar, played by Vikram Gokhale and his relationship with his wife Vandana, played by Rima Lagoo. The premise is very humourous: the husband decides to retire from his job to give his wife company after their son emigrates. However, the wife has her own plans….
|Image from ticket to the play|
The lines of the dialogues are very funny and the acting by the veterans sufficient. The acting played by the supporting cast, especially of the daughter, played by Bageshri Joshirao, stood out. She plays the role very confidently and provides stellar support.
The problem is that the humour cannot be sustained throughout and the play shifts to mawkish sentiment and moves away towards the second half. What is essentially missing is a good pace and fresh ideas. The same old tired theme of parents who feel abandoned by their NRI son; the stereotyped warm, caring husband with an ailing wife; the so-called house husband who never actually does anything like working in the house or even hiring a maid. Most remarkable is the complete absence of the daughter in either of the parent’s reminiscences. It points to the basic weakness of the heart of the story. While presenting a different take on gender role reversal, it actually never goes against the norm.
Some of the lines are regressive. For example, the reference to religion, such as to have more than one wife, pretending that multiple spouses are not prevalent in practice among other communities! Then there is the out-of-context mention of Draupadi’s disrobing.
Even the Hindi tile of the play, namely Yeh Dil Abhi Bhara Nahi, is out of place, because it gives a hint of romance, whereas the play is less about playful romance and more about a stultified marriage.
In terms of overall impact, the play does fall short. It seemed to me as though Vikram Gokhale forgot his lines in-between & could not sustain the long drawn-out phone conversations, which are far too many. Rima Lagoo, for some reason, chose to be playing her character in a mannered style rather than her usual natural performance for which she often shines. Unlike the husband’s character, hers lacks an arc, and hence some of her actions seem inexplicable, such as her change of heart to cite just one instance.
In conclusion, the title says it all: after the curtain falls, Yeh Dil Bhara Nahi.