“Yaad karne par, beete hue achhe pal bhi dukh dene lagte hai (When you look back, even happy memories can cause you pain)...”
The lines were spoken by veteran actor Anupam Kher during the heartwarming-yet-searing play, Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha, performed on Saturday as part of the Colonel & Co theatre section of the HT Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
The section of Horniman Circle Garden where the play was performed was so packed, several people failed to find seats. They still watched the two-hour play, standing throughout.
The story begins at Lodhi Gardens in the capital, where two former lovers, Pritam (Anupam Kher) and Hema (Neena Gupta), decide to meet after 35 years. The high-school sweethearts have since married other people, but still endeavour to find out why they drifted apart.
Kher addressed the audience, saying, “It is challenging to stage a play in open air and surrounded by the honking of vehicles. But, we thank HT for organising such a beautiful event.”
The audience’s emotions during the performance ranged from mirth to tears and finally, enthusiastic applause.
“It is always an exceptional experience, every edition of the festival,” said Shravan Pamnani, a 67-year-old Powai resident who has been attending HTKGAF for years. “It has been a great feeling to watch two legendary actors perform. I saw them in the flesh for the first time, and was blown away by the play. I wish there the festival had more editions in a year.”
Others were heard discussing how the play reminded them that they could look back and smile, even at heart-breaking moments.