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Funny man Rakesh Bedi displays serious side in Lucknow

For those of us brought up on the mid-80s tele-serial ‘Yeh jo hai Zindagi’ (starring late Shafi Inamdar, the lovely Swaroop Sampat and the laugh riots Rakesh Bedi and Satish Shah), the very mention of the name Rakesh Bedi evokes smiles.

lucknow Updated: Sep 27, 2018 14:41 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Funny man,Rakesh Bedi,Lucknow
Shweta Tiwari, Rakesh Bedi and Rahul Bhuchar performing at Sangeet Natak Akademi in Lucknow.(Dheeraj Dhawan/HT Photo)

For those of us brought up on the mid-80s tele-serial ‘Yeh jo hai Zindagi’ (starring late Shafi Inamdar, the lovely Swaroop Sampat and the laugh riots Rakesh Bedi and Satish Shah), the very mention of the name Rakesh Bedi evokes smiles.

Yet, with his latest play ‘Jab We Separated’ (written and directed by Bedi), his serious and thinking side came to the fore. Staged at the Sangeet Natak Akademi on Saturday, Bedi also played the lead in the play.

Starring Shweta Tiwari, Rahul Bhuchar (as Priya Maheshwari Sahani and Capt Sanjay Sahani) it has divorce as its central theme. Before the legal break-up of marriage, courts give six months to the couple to give reconciliation a final try. Bedi has used this period as the setting for his play even as the Sahanis try and breathe life into their 20-year-old marriage which is dying.

The story unfolded with the couple living under the same roof but fighting at for every possible reason. Their only daughter stays in a hostel.

Bedi plays an elderly Sindhi neighbour, Monti Mittha, who kept disturbing the Sahanis at regular intervals. Every entry he made on to the stage, added comical punches to the narrative. Later, it unfolded why he was constantly invading the couple’s privacy, and in a way, was trying to get them back together.

Shweta Tiwari and Rakesh Bedi. ( Dheeraj Dhawan/HT Photo )

The storyline kept moving back and forth between a sour present and a sweet past, the narrative was indeed eloquent. Small things were so well-defined that one could easily identify with them.

Towards the end, comes a point when the duo reconciles and their marriage is indeed saved. And, suddenly a surprise! The lights in the auditorium come on and the actors open a debate with the audience. “Should Sanjay be forgiven for his ‘mistake’,” asks Priya (Shweta). The audience indeed responded to the queries of the cast and with that the curtain came down on the play.

“Earlier, some factors for divorce were the problems of joint families but now most of us live in nuclear family and still the divorce rate is rising rapidly. Sadly, from big cities it has made inroads to smaller towns. I saw it alarming and started writing this play five years back, and here it is,” Bedi said before the curtain went up.

The play opened in Kanpur last month and before Lucknow, four shows have been held so far. Shweta made her comeback to theatre after many years. Actor Rahul is also the producer of the play.

He said, “We are returning to Lucknow in the next two months with a very big play, ‘Mahabharat: The Epic’, which has been written and directed by Puneet Issar.

First Published: Sep 27, 2018 14:41 IST