Sir Sir Sarla: Play Review

 

Don’t choose to be a blind man when you can see.

Professor Palekar, played by Makrand Deshpande is the teacher, philosopher, guide and guru for his two students, who share an overwhelming love for him. On one hand, there’s the sarcastic yet funny Phannidhar, played by Sanjay Dadhinch, who shares a love-hate relationship with his Professor. On the other hand, is Sarala played by Aahana Kumra, who is filled with love, compassion and zeal for Palekar Sir and his poetry.
 
Sir Sir Sarala revolves around flashbacks and reality, depicting the story of three people entwined in each other’s lives through poetry and memories. The feelings of Palekar, Sarala and Phanni stay suppressed for the initial hour of the play, but conflicting with time Phanni reveals his feelings for Sarala. Sarala, who has been blindly in love with Professor Palekar, saw nothing more than a friend in Phanni. Troubled by his own problems, Palekar still manages to be the beam of wisdom for his two favorite students. As simple as the story is of a love triangle, it complicates itself with Phanni questioning his master repeatedly, who is misunderstood. Phanni blames Palekar for ruining their lives with his manipulative philosophies of life.
Professor Palekar mentors his students in his own way. His philosophical teachings, however, often leads the audience to question his ways of preaching his students. Phanni, keeps the audience lively and active. He keeps interrupting Palekar’s verbose, with his minimal understanding of gratitude and honesty.
 
Sarala, who had a crush on the professor since her college days, got married to Keshav, another one of Sir’s students. However, 4 years into this alliance, she announces her thoughts on parting ways with him. Keshav, although a genuine and caring husband, fails to understand Sarala’s views on life, poetry and love. Her feelings were never reciprocated by Sir as he considered this to be nothing but a passing phase. 
 
Towards the end of the play, hurtful dialogues conversations are exchanged, major life decisions are made, and hence reconsidered. Palekar preaches his students about the meaning of life, love, and his ideals. The misunderstood professor, clears all doubts when he helps Sarala to start being realistic, and not end relations because of minor tiffs. When it comes to Phanni, he is still adamant on Palekar ruining his life. Whether he was right about blaming Palekar is a decision left on the audience to make.
 
The stage set-up and lighting was as excellent as Makrand Deshpande’s direction, script and acting. The lead actress, Aahana lived upto Sarala’s character. Sanjay, who was the audience’s favorite with his exceptional acting skills and comic timing kept the long duration bearable.
 
The only flaw in the entire play was the time duration, although it is a wonderful piece of art, the run-time of 2 hours 20 mins becomes a bit too long to handle. Phanni’s sarcastic jokes and comments help in killing time, but the story should have been told in a shorter duration. 

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