Just watched the Marathi play ‘U Turn’. Its not for me to answer why many new Marathi plays have English titles but that in any way does not take away from merits of this play. The play explores loneliness of a spouse when a husband-wife are not together any more- either due to death of one partner or divorce. Some choose to go in for a ‘companion’ yet will society or more pertinently will their family members accept this arrangement?
U Turn explores the developing relation between a divorced Major of the Indian Army (played by Dr Girish Oak) and a widow (Ila Bhate). The strict, no-nonsense disciplinarian Major is very lonely and has advertised for a companion in a newspaper. Rama Gokhale happens to ring his door bell and from there on both go on an emotional roller coaster. Rama often delved into the days gone by whereas the Major firmly stayed only in the present. Both dote on their only children who inturn have often expressed concern for their parent’s loneliness.
As the couple enters this new relation that has as not yet really received social sanction, they naturally assume full support from their respective kids. Rama befriends and opens her heart to Madhu, the Major’s daughter who is in the final stages of pregnancy, ready to offer all support necessary at this delicate stage. The Major goes all out to learn of the well being of Sahil, Rama’s son when news of terrorist attacks in London reaches them- which is where Sahil lives.
All through this phase, Dr Oak and Ila Bhat beautifully depict the subtle changes in the Major and Rama’s personalities, their fears, joys, anger and grief as the situation unfolds before them. Do the children really accept their parent’s new found partner and joy? Can the parents handle the reaction? Do they live for their children or should they think of themselves now that their children are independant adults? Does this couple follow the direction of the time trodden path or do they take a U Turn?
The cast, director and other team members have won several awards at the state level. This two act two character play is heavily recommended.