Entertainment

Anything but Love


The pangs of a bad marriage or worse, an eventfully uneventful relationship can never be welcome. There are misunderstandings, unlikely sexual leanings and situations where you’d love to get trapped yet get out. The Deepak Pawar directed ‘Anything but Love’ that was part of the Times Bangalore Festival, had all this and more.

The play juggles around with only two characters- Seema (Mandira Bedi) and Anish (Sameer Soni) and their trouble to face up with each others drawbacks let alone live together. ‘Anything But Love’ goes back and forth in time and keeps up with the characters’ development as well as regression. Having started with something as innocuous as a chance meeting at a restaurant, this two hour long play goes about draping serious issues with bawdy humor and the other way around. While Seema is ‘analytical’, Sameer is ‘bisexual’.

‘Anything But Love’ has other characters too but they are alive only through the main protagonists’ accounts. While Seema has her share of happiness (something she never got with Anish) through Shekhar, Seema’s present husband (someone Anish prefers calling ‘Surinder’), Anish too doesn’t miss out on a raging sex life with all the Reshmas, Nishas and Divyas thrown in. It is Deepak, Anish’s psychotherapist, though, who happens to be Seema’s main grouse. He is the man in Anish’s life and Seema, obviously, doesn’t like it a bit, even after they are divorced.

A chance afternoon meeting at the restaurant after their formal split changes everything as the two rekindle the romance. Naturally things change between Shekhar and Seema as well as Anish and his women. Both the characters, despite all the misery, continue with debauchery. Seema becomes pregnant with Shekhar’s child while enjoying sex with Anish more than she ever did. What follows is confusion, comedy and tear- filled realization that they’re incompatible though completely in love.

An honest take on the flipsides of urbanization and materialism would be the best way to describe ‘Anything but Love’. You could call it complicated and easy in the same breath. The story seems simple initially but picks up complexities along its way. If Mandira and Sameer are brilliant, the dialogues are no less. Seema calling her extra- marital passion for Sameer, ‘the Forbidden Fruit Syndrome’, Anish poking fun at Seema for her ‘analytical approach towards sex’ and Seema crying out ‘jiggle that a bit’ to Anish when he can’t put his fly back are memorable. ‘Anything but Love’, I’m sure, had people analyzing their private lives at the back of their mind and with great effect!
Tags: drama, theater, Times Bangalore Festival, Mandira Bedi, Sameer Soni, Anything but Love, play, funny

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