New Delhi: Heavily inspired by the lives of actor Guru Dutt and singer Geeta Dutt, Saif Hyder Hasan's critically acclaimed play "Gardish Mein Taare", opens a window into the tumultuous relationship of fictional characters Devdutt Bose and Bhavana Bose who despite being in love can't save their marriage from going awry.
Staged in the city for the first time the 90-minute play tends to delve into the relationship of a "hypersensitive" filmmaker and a "lovelorn" singer narrating a tragic tale of love from the 1950s where actors Arif Zakaria and Sonali Kulkarni essay the characters of Devdutt and Bhavana respectively.
One of the major focus of the play was to break the myths surrounding the combined lives of Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt, says Zakaria, who has featured in films such as "My Name is Khan" and "Shootout at Wadala" and is an accomplished theatre artiste.
"The story (about Guru Dutt's life) is in open domain. Ours is a story inspired from his life but we have adapted it in our own way and created a fiction which is loosely based on his life," Arif told PTI in an interview.
However, Sonali, a popular face in Marathi film circuit and a theatre actor of some repute, says, "There are not many plays like this that are being written nowadays. The characters are intense, passionate and have a certain kind of madness."
"I was aware of Guru Dutt ji's life but didn't know much about Geeta ji's life but because of this play we could get to know what it meant being a working woman, a passionate professional and the conflict between her personal and professional life, her love and her passion and how a girl of yesteryears managed all this."
"This was really important to me and of course we tried to find out more about Geeta ji but though the character that I play was inspired by her we did not dissect the character (of Geeta Dutt) herself," says Sonali who has appeared in films such as "Mission Kashmir," "Dil Chahta Hai" and "Singham" among others.
Speaking about her character Bhavana, who is in the process of a self discovery, Sonali said, "It's a very interestingly woven story. Bhavana did not know what she wanted except for love. But the routes she took probably did not take her to the correct address.
"Sometimes to defeat failures we opt for strange solutions. I am not going into the morality or rights and wrongs of the character but I just wanted to find (and portray) the confusion between love and passion of the character.
About the potrayal of Devdutt Bose, actor Arif says, "It had complete inputs from the director (Saif) from the stylization to its visualization. However, a lot of things evolved since the time we started performing it and during the rehearsals. Not everything was written but it became part as more shows happened and the characters that we see have a lot of contribution by others including the actors."
Meanwhile both the actors revelled at the response to the first show of "Gardish Mein Taare" in the national capital.
"Outstanding experience performing in Delhi for the first time. I wanted to perform well and am satisfied with the outstanding response. Looking forward to be here back again," Sonali said.
Arif on a lighter note, said, "Not many people left the show midway... So it felt good. People appreciated it."
"It was good, a little difficult, enjoyable overall. Before the show there is a little nervousness but it gets sorted once we start performing. That's the beauty of live theatre," he said.