A dark stage with the spotlight on two benches. Two chairs. Two people. And letters spanning almost three decades.
This is how ‘Tumhari Amrita’ was introduced to the audience by its director. For eighty minutes, the play held the spectators captive with its soulful, riveting narrative. The letters are multifaceted in their role. They act as ties that can never be cut, hosts to memories that will live beyond the tangible proof of paper and mediator in an equation where love and loss battle it out amidst myriad conflicts.
It’s the story of a woman who inadvertently becomes the empathetic observer of her own desolation. She lives out her life in the hope, that one day perhaps she would be able to heal the wounds and hurt that haunt her at every step, but it’s not meant to be. There is a brilliant duality in her persona, which sparkles in moments of wit and happiness and beguiles in moments of philosophic melancholy. Whether it’s her painful estrangement from the comforting solace of familial bonds or the realization that she could never be with the one she loves.
The latter is akin to a raw ache that disturbs her, when she recognizes that their correspondence had metaphorically taken the shape of a sustenance drug without which she would be incomplete.
The man she loves is very acutely aware of the depth and meaning of their relationship, but duties and responsibilities soon overpower them. For him, their union cannot be limited to any social mores or customs, as it goes beyond any easy definitions or comfortable labels. At times, this comes across as selfish, when his political career charts out, at the cost of their relationship.
But then at another level, one can only muse, that perhaps some people cannot stay apart, but yet can never be together. It’s this intense irony, which is at the crux of the story.