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Actors Sanjay Nath and Kitu Gidwani (right).
Actors Sanjay Nath and Kitu Gidwani (right).

The Pad: The memory keepers

A play about a house and its occupants' lives comes to New Delhi and Mumbai

Every house becomes a silent spectator of its occupant’s life. The chipping wallpaper recounts tales of love and longing, and the fading relics are reminiscent of separation and death. The Pad by writer, director and actor Saattvic, who uses one only name, has a house, more precisely a Bandra pad, at its centre. And the experiences of the former residents of this home, the Anglo-Indian couple Jennifer and Fabian, seep into the lives of its current inhabitants, Pulkit and Sahil, a gay couple.

The Mumbai pad belongs to Pulkit, who works at a bank. One night he meets Sahil, a PhD student researching the history of interior design, and they hook up. Sahil’s interest in the pad’s interiors ensures his rendezvous with Pulkit turns into something more meaningful. And they start discovering things about Jennifer and Fabian.

Saattvic’s play draws inspiration from the home of one of his friends in London, UK. He felt its quaint furnishings—floral wallpaper, a cabinet full of bric-a-brac, and two ceremonial wine glasses with “Jennifer and Fabian, 14 February 1996" inscribed on them—had enough reminiscences for a play.

The 90-minute play features TV actors Kitu Gidwani (Jennifer) and Sanjay Nath (Fabian). Mumbai-based actor and director Daniel D’Souza plays Sahil, while Saattvic plays Pulkit.

Both couples belong to minority communities but their lives are as mundane as anyone else’s. “Sometimes importance to a particular community builds stereotypes.... Gay people are not defined just by their sexuality, and Anglo-Indians are not defined just by their heritage. This play is certainly not about gay rights, or the issues faced by Anglo-Indians," says Saattvic.

The Pad will debut in the Capital on Saturday. This will be followed by two performances in Mumbai later this month.

The Pad will be staged on 7 June, 4.30pm/7.30pm, at Alliance Française de Delhi, KK Birla Marg, Lodi Estate, New Delhi (43500200). In Mumbai, the play will be staged on 13 June, 8pm, at Juhu Jagruthi, Mithibai College (call 9930064181 for donor passes) and on 14 June, 6pm/9pm, at Sitara Studio, Dadar West. Tickets, 400 and 500 (for New Delhi), available on in.bookmyshow.com.

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