The name Mumbai invokes a strong emotion in the heart of every Mumbaikar. The city that never sleeps is ironically also the city of dreams. But like every other city, Mumbai is not without its flaws. Zubin Driver's Mumbai vs Mumbai is not about these flaws but about the minds of six random individuals in this bustling city. Mumbai is also the city where people are busy with their own races. They don't have time to delve deeper into the lives of the people around them. These series of monologues will definitely give that necessary insight. Based on Zubin Driver's book Falling Indians, Mumbai vs Mumbai is a must-watch for every Mumbaikar.
We are taken to the sets of a popular news channel, where the anchor is having a breakdown while he is interviewing a guest. Between commercial breaks, we learn that nothing really matters. The second monologue is of a lonely traveler on his way home from a day at work. His journey includes traveling in trains, the Metro and finally a bus. As he finds a seat on the bus, his imagination soars and so do we. His inner frustrations take shape of monsters which wreak havoc over the city or of a bird which watches silently over the shrinking size of the city. The third is perhaps the most powerful performance of this set as we see a normal woman who strips albeit differently. She reveals layer by layer her mental folds. The show isn't over yet. After a break, you are taken on a ride as you delve inside the mind of a car driver who follows a seemingly endless loop around the city. Another amazing performance awaits as you meet Rathore the Roach Killer who has philosophized the art of killing roaches to another level. The sixth monologue is of a woman who goes about her daily household chores and has a Devi experience, where, for a moment she is the divine entity until the clock on the wall lets her know that it is time for her husband to come home.
If you actually think about it, our thoughts are not the most coherent thing in the world and as you delve into the minds of these people you see the jumble of thoughts which is familiar. The heart-touching monologues are a mix of slam poetry and dramatic storytelling but it is the actors who steal the show.
Jaydeep Shetty, Lopamudra Mohanty and Divyesh Vijayakar are simply a treat to watch as each takes up two contrasting characters and takes us on a journey with them. Jaydeep Shetty is the news anchor and the car driver. This is his first performance as an actor but it doesn't look as if he is making his debut. Lopamudra Mohanty plays a seductress and a Devi and in both of those roles, she shines. Divyesh Vijayakar truly gives a soaring performance as the guy who is on his way home but him as the Roach Killer certainly sends chills down your spine.
Zubin Driver deserves a lot of appreciation for the superb way he has managed to translate the book on stage. They managed to take us through the pains, the frustrations, and joys we go through in a city like Mumbai. The latest performance of this play was performed at The Cuckoo Club. Make sure you catch this the next time it is being performed.