The much awaited Hindu MetroPlus Theatre fest ended with a play titled “Some Times” by the renowned Akvarious productions. Founded by director, screenwriter and actor, Mr. Akash Khurana, this production house has been spearheaded by his son Mr. Akarsh Khurana. Apart from this play, Akvarious has produced stellar plays like – ‘The Interview’, ‘Baghdad Wedding’ and ‘Rafta Rafta’. Thus, after reading the schedule and coming across this name, I was eagerly looking forward to some quality theatre after watching “The Interview” which won six awards during META 2011; it was about a life changing interview and was furbished up with classic dark humour.
As my eyes skimmed through the page, the description made them twinkle with glee. The plot seemed very intriguing as who wouldn’t want to know more about Parmeetay (Karan Pandit), whose “night life would put Batman to shame”? As I took my spot in JT Performing Arts Centre, the state-of-the-art amphitheatre, tucked away in God’s Own Country, Kerala, I tried to lower my expectations just in case; which, as it turned out, was not required at all.
‘Some Times’ is a brilliant play, well crafted and thus very easy to relate to. It focuses on the life of a (seemingly) freshly squeezed out twenty-something graduate of the well known advertising world, from the Mad Men fame, a wannabe copyrighter complete with a prick of a boss with a gifted sense of humour mixed with temper, an exceptionally dumb and underrated yet lovable coworker and lots of deadlines being advanced faster than the birth of an idea in either of the three minds. However, it would only be incomplete without a justified, solely in my opinion, nagging girlfriend, who executes the role effortlessly and makes you almost want to scream at Pammi a.k.a Doggie a.k.a Parmeetay a.k.a Parmeet Duggal, the ad guy. His constant work stress in the unreliable and fast-paced private world along with Shreya constantly hounding him with questions pertaining to ‘their’ future, he’s quite a cynical guy. To add to the burdens hovering about his head like a halo of Satan, the story is incomplete without the typical Punjabi parents, the two, executed so well that you personally feel like explaining Pammy’s point of view to them over a chilled glass of Lassi. The disappointed businessman of a father watching his son struggle while choosing a (in his opinion) superficious and manipulative field where one tries to “sell thermal inners during summer” instead of lending a hand to the business created by the ‘sweat and blood’ of the grandfather. Complete with his mother, the pudgy mother who seldom voices her opinion and is probably the winner of “Aloo Paratha of the Year” award. As seen in too many households across the nation, she’s fed up of her son’s eccentricities yet loves him enough to shield him from the angry father. With superb acting and great dialogue, sitting in the audience I feel like the quintessential neighbor, ‘Sharma Aunty’, spying on their lives, it’s that real.
Finally, coming to the much awaited part of Pammy’s nightlife; along with top class weed and whiskey, which according to many people, is a winning combination as the antidote for a miserable life. Post-work, Pammy, under the pretext of work, ‘chills’ with his buddies after and unwinds sipping on whiskey and rolling some joints. Among other gems that make up their psychotropic substance influenced conversation is the “Daddy Song” which is sung very religiously, to roars of laughter from the audience, after the revelation of the fact one of the friend’s mother’s having been physically abused by her husband. During one of these nights, they are invited by an old classmate to a discotheque and are then subjected to MDMA, which is then ingested by an irate Pammy the following day. This day prevents to be most eventful for two reasons, for his behavior under the influence of the drug and primarily because it eerily turns out as his last day on Earth.
Complete with a strong plot, good dialogues, insanely effective humour and quality acting, this play is the perfect mix of realism and surrealism. With an extremely strong and effective message which reaches across to the audience like a well aimed arrow, as it is very much relevant to society today, this play is simply brilliant. Well picked by the creators, the MetroPlus Theatre Fest could not possible have bid goodbye to Kochi in a better way.