This thought-provoking comedy Namaste Jaishree Krishna which focuses on the need for dialogue between generations, stars Ila Arun, KK Raina, Abhishek Pandey, Ashish Chawla, Gaurav Amlani and Rajshri Ponnappa. Directed by KK Raina, the play has philosophy, humour and nostalgia. Adapted by actor Ila Arun, she says, “It is an adaptation of Tom Dudzick play- Greetings. When I read it, I realized it has a lot of potential to be adapted in an Indian context. It was a comedy but a thought provoking one. The play is about values, creating a dialogue between the two generations and about beliefs and non-beliefs.”
Mohan, a young boy living in the United States of America, decides to visit his parents in Delhi, and hopes for his parent’s approval of his Indian-American, girl friend named Krishna. The opening scene sees Mohan briefing Krishna on Indian culture and language, before introducing her to his parents. Their arrival coincides with Janmashtami, Lord Krishna’s birthday. Problem ensues when Mohan’s plans misfire when his girlfriend forgets everything he has taught her.
Expanding on the narrative, Ila says, “There is a tug of war between old values and new liberation and how the dialogue happens, that is the crux of the story. Aaj ke global time dono generations ko ek doosre ko samajhna bahut zaroori hai. It will leave you thinking. It’s also about miracles as they can happen anytime, anywhere.The original story spoke about Christianity and revolved around Christmas Day. I thought I’ll adapt it on Janmashtami because there is similarity between Christ and Krishna, in the sense that Christ was shepherd and so was Lord Krishna.”
How does she manage between writing to also enacting a role? “The adaptation took about a year and a half. Now that we’ve performed a few times, the rehearsal is not that rigorous. We practice for around eight hours to twelve hours every day,” says Ila.
Raina, also co-staring together in the play with Ila, says, “I play the father and Ila ji plays my wife. Greeting ka automatic translation humne socha Namaste. And the play opens on the day of Janmashtami. My association with Ila ji goes back 30 years. Whichever plays I have directed, she has either adapted, written or acted in. It’s been great fun. I enjoy her adaptations. She’s also been my co-actor in most of the plays. It’s always been wonderful to perform in Gurgaon,” he says.
CATCH IT LIVE
What: Play Namaste Jaishree Krishna
Where: Epicentre, sector-44, Gurgaon
When: August 27