"And they lived happily ever after…"

Whenever we hear this line we go back to those fairy tales we heard when were kids. Where everyone was a prince or a princess and everyone got a happy ending. We are smart enough to know that not all fairy tales are true and even the origins of some of these fairy tales were quite gruesome. On Saturday, I made my way to a quaint bungalow called Studio: Tamaasha where Here and Now Theatre was presenting a collection of imperfect love stories. In our quest to find the perfect fairy tale love story, they were presenting us with five love stories where reality seeped in.

First, let's talk about the venue. As you enter the room, the lighting and the setting are surely going to make you fall in love with the place. A string of blue fairy lights is all that separates the audience and the performers. The setting feels intimate and perfect as they shatter the metaphorical bubble around us, one tale at a time. Seating is on comfortable benches making the whole setting unconventional yet loveable.

Before the tale's begin we come to know their origins. These are those tales which romance writers throw in the dustbin when reality interferes a little too much with the perfect tale they are trying to tell. The stories from these crumpled pages is what defines Crumpled.

Crumpled - BookMyShowThe first tale (The Connection) is a simple tale of two people (Aakash Prabhakar and Mahnaz Damania) in a relationship re-connecting. Loss of their internet connection is what sparks this re-connection and makes us think how many other relationships we can re-connect with if we only lose the connection with the digital world for a while. The second story Spur takes things a bit further and revolves around a decision. Hasan (Chirag Lobo) gets an opportunity to go back four minutes in time and make a choice again. The choice is in between saving his arm or his girlfriend, Tara's (Gaurangi Dang). If it were a typical love story, he would have made that sacrifice in a split second. But things are never that simple. As he goes back in time, he struggles to justify his decision and tries to look for motivation to chose otherwise. By the time, the fatal moment was re-approaching, we had learnt some necessary lessons about love. The third story took us on a Tinder date. The guy who had just made the city of dreams his home was also looking for a mate. His hunt was for a girl who is traditional in her thoughts. As the date progresses, his two buddies are working on the sidelines trying to make sure the date is a success. But you know what they say about three being a crowd.

Crumpled - BookMyShowThe fourth story is not just about love but also your dreams. We have a guy (Aakash Prabhakar) who is getting ready to shut down the cafe for the day and at that time he talks about his dream. His American dream. He talks about the time when he first decided to settle in America and how over the years he managed to make his dream a reality and realizing some dreams are better left unfulfilled.

The fifth story perhaps hits you the hardest. It is a Wedding Story which begins like every other fairy tale but the characters in it are not ready to accept it. The groom (Chirag Lobo) is a closet homosexual while the bride (Mahnaz Damania)  doesn't seem to believe in settling down for life. Their story is miles apart from any fairy tale and its end too.

The production is left to a minimal but what adds an extra charm to the story is the music. Each story has a background score along with some live music. The actors make it real and the monologues especially are touching. After watching these stories, you are sure to feel that for every perfect love story, there are five imperfect ones.

Do not miss this fantastic play the next time they are in town.

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