Drama After Marriage

Khan

Over a year after theatre brought Ahlam Khan and Zafar Karachiwala together, the couple is cast as a pair in a play by Ramu Ramanathan.

It all started on September 18, 2011 — the day Ahlam Khan and Zafar Karachiwala tied the knot. Mumbai-based playwright Ramu Ramanathan, who had worked with Ahlam since her post-graduate days in 1999, went to their reception without a gift. But, he did know what he could present them with — a play. This is how the new stage production, called The Diary of a Word or How I Proposed to My Second Husband on the 321 Floor came about. It now premieres on Saturday, at Centrestage, the annual theatre festival of National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, at its Godrej Theatre.

Now, the couple spends its evenings rehearsing the play till late. However, neither of them seems to mind that. Ahlam, who is the daughter of iconic actor Amjad Khan, calls herself a "theatre purist". She has wholeheartedly embraced theatre as a career after dabbling in film writing for a few years without much satisfaction. Zafar, who has been doing theatre since 1993, also loves his association with the stage even though it's television that made him popular with shows such as Hip Hip Hurray and Pal Chhin. There is also the responsibility of running his company that keeps him busy during the day.

Their love for stage notwithstanding, what makes this play interesting is the genuine chemistry that the two actors bring to it. It is a modern love story set in very unusual circumstances, even as it highlights the issue of vanishing languages. The play unfolds very much like sharing a fireside chat with two not-so-young lovers. The narrative is conversational and rambling, looping back and forth between an imaginary world of words and a real world.

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