Doosara Adhyaya is a two-character play.
The male character Abhaya is a young man in his mid-thirties, a highly successful and promising executive. He is dashing and at the same time very sensitive and emotional. He is still single at this time.
The female character is Neerja, also in her mid-thirties. She is also a working lady and is comfortably married with two kids. The two meet during a management training course for which both had gone for a fortnight. During this period the two develop a deep intimacy and fall in love. And this love is not just emotional. Neerja for the first time realizes her potential as a person, as an individual who has her own identity. She also realizes that while her married life was peaceful, it had no vivacity, no joy of life, and that fulfilment of her soul now rests in her association with Abhaya.
But now comes the vexed question of what to do next, because Neerja is already married. Can she just leave her husband and go with Abhaya? It is not easy especially because her husband is a simple, caring person and she is also attached to her children. What can she do? What about the established social taboos, the value of the bondage of marriage that Indian society upholds as sacrosanct. This situation creates emotional conflict in her mind.
While the two meet a few times later and deliberate what to do next, they also recall the episodes of their training period which brought them so close. Neeraja decides to spend the rest of her life with Abhaya, but just as she is about to take a final plunge of separation, her husband suffers a stroke and is hospitalized. As a wife, Neerja is moved to take care of her husband. She realizes that now her husband will take a very long time to recover and under such circumstances, she cannot leave him. This only enhances the conflict in her mind. She tells Abhaya that he will have to wait.
As the play develops it gradually lifts to a higher plane, from being just another love story to a poetical discourse on the philosophy of life, the manifestation of destiny, the karma.
Can we make decisions? So often the situations created by the time control us. We have no power over what time has in store for us. Are we not mere puppets in the hands of our destiny, our karma? And what is life other than the time over which we have no control? Abhaya is frustrated but also acknowledges the complexity of the situation. Then he goes abroad for a long period of some assignment.
What will happen next, is the question that holds the curious audience in a spell. Will they ever be together? Should they be, being so much in love? Or should the sanctity of married life be supreme? What is morally right? No clear answer is given in the play as there is none.
Abhaya and Neerja again meet after several years. Much has changed since then but not their affection for each other. Neerja is now free to come to Abhaya, but do they finally unite? The play ends with this question mark leaving it to the audience to guess and decide.
is going to be a wonderful experience.