New Delhi: Legendary filmmaker Guru Dutt’s volatile alliance with his singer wife Geeta Dutt and the relationship between poets, Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi, have inspired two different plays set to debut here.
The plays, “Gardish Mein Taare” and “Ek Mulaqaat” both critically acclaimed and commercially successful have been helmed by writer and director Saif Hyder Hassan.
Actors Arif Zakaria and Sonali Kulkarni portray a married couple in the first play, which has been heavily inspired by the Dutt couple while actors Shekhar Suman and Deepti Naval essay characters of Urdu poet and Hindi lyricist Ludhianvi and Pritam, well known for her literary works in Punjabi and Hindi, in “Ek Mulaqaat”.
Overwhelmed with “sold out” shows of these plays in Mumbai and Kolkata among other cities, Hassan says he is excited to stage the ambitious projects in Delhi.
“People have so many options these days. There are big movies releasing on Fridays and we do our shows on Saturdays and Sundays. On weekends, they go to clubs and movies while some just stick to the Internet surfing Youtube and playing candycrush…We need to reach out to people and let them know that we are coming to Delhi with two beautiful stories,” Hassan told PTI in an interview.
The director says he believes in the importance of telling stories from the bygone era as they are essential to “nourish the souls”. He also points out the eternal fondness of audiences for love stories.
“During the fifth or sixth show of ‘Ek Mulaqaat’, the first screening of which was held on August 23 last year at the Nehru Auditorium in Mumbai, a young boy, around 25 years old came up to me and said he would Google the characters of the play since he knew nothing about them. I think he connected to the love story in the play,” says Hassan.
“I think we all like love stories. This is a love story of a man and a woman and not of a boy and a girl who elope from their houses with their parents opposed to their love… It’s a very mature love story,” Hassan says.
The director acknowledges that it was a very bold step to showcase the love stories of people who were in their 60s.
“Infact, had it been some Amita instead of Amrita and Sahil instead of Sahir then too it would have been a great story to tell. I think it’s a very bold step to showcase the love story of people in their 60s.”
“These are strong stories. Guru Dutt died at the age of 39 and was considered an average filmmaker while alive. It was in the 1980s after an international film critic discovered his films from the archives and got them screened at the Cannes film festival that he suddenly broke into top 100 filmmakers of all time,” says Hassan.