Friday, May 7, 2010
'Chaos Theory.' A play that strikes a real chord (particularly for Stephanians)
In essence, this play successfully captures the peculiar dynamics between two middle-aged professors at Harvard who have known each since their student days at St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi. Sunita is a fiercely independent, witty and intelligent girl, while Mukesh, who is her intellectual equal, is emotionally very distant. The play then follows their lives and loves over the decades.
The St Stephens angle has been capatured to a perfect T. Having studied in the hallowed portals of that very same Institution, I can vouch for that -completely. The play begins in the 60's with the two main characters meeting while Sunita Sen( from Delhi) is sitting on a bench eating her Chutney sandwich and sipping tea, while Mukesh Singh ( from Calcutta) staggers into the scene, somewhat intoxicated. That is the start of an everlasting bond and one of the most interesting conversations I've heard in a very long time. At the end of it, they are ...quite simply, "bonded forever."
The script has been inspired by James Gleek’s novel Chaos. "In physics, 'Chaos theory' states that two particles can exist into infinity, surrounding each other without actually ever connecting”, was what the writer Anuvab Pal said when he conceptualised the play. “I wondered what it would be like if I took two particles and turned them into two people and made them spend a lifetime together without either of them ever committing to love.”
And so he went ahead and did just that and how!
The professors are played by Zafar Karachiwala and Anahita Uberoi, two extremely versatile actors, who have the emotional range to enact the period through adolescence as well as adulthood.What is really fascinating for the viewer is to watch the way the two characters effortlessly circle each other. According to the director, Rahul Da Cunha“The characters are two parts of the same mould, they complete each other and are meant for each other but just don’t ever come around to saying that to each other.The saddest moments are when they come closest to saying ‘I love you’ but never do.”
The thought that remained uppermost in the mind after the play was over, "So near... and yet so far."