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Komal Panwar

Blogger & Singer

JWB’s Exclusive Chit Chat with Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta and Rakesh Bedi

  • IWB Post
  •  October 7, 2015


With Jairangam 4 fever fanned out in the city, we witnessed the proscenium play Mera Wo Matlab Nahi Tha by Rakesh Bedi. The play’s star cast Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta and Rakesh Bedi brought out the love story of an old couple intensely.

The story is about a former couple that meets after thirty five years (Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta), they reminisce, and discuss the reasons because of which they couldn’t be together. Team JWB met the trio and asked them a few questions.

Team JWB – How did the idea of the play come to you?

Anupam Kher – It was four years ago that I was shooting and Rakesh ji told me about the play Mera Wo Matlab Nahin Tha. The play is now appreciated everywhere and is a big accomplishment for us. And if a play isn’t good, no matter how big the star is, they will have ten shows at the max, and then pack their bags.


Team JWB – What has been more challenging for you, theatre or movies?

Anupam Kher – Theatre, definitely. It isn’t a cakewalk. Theatre is more difficult because first of all it is live. So even your director cannot intervene! Its magic remains till the curtains are closed, when they are parted, everything is in the actor’s hands, to make or break the deal.


Rakesh Bedi – I’d like to add here that actors today have very little time. So there’s an actress who lives in my building, she’s a very famous TV star. She was not well because of long working hours and well, she was advised bed rest. The entire TV crew came to her house to shoot her close up scenes, that’s really actors are restricted from creativity.

On being asked about his connection with Rajasthan, Anupam Kher responded:

Anupam Kher – Rajasthan is the best tourist destination in the world. Their hospitality, colours, their love for tourists is impeccable. I shot here a few years ago and realized that wherever you point the camera, you’ll find a perfect frame for the background. In fact, I was shooting while rehearsing for this play! I was very tight on schedule so Rakesh and Neena ji both had to come at my shoot, and in those seven days, whenever we had time, we rehearsed the play and nurtured it to make it into a success that it is, today.

Team JWB – Neena ji, what is the future of female artists in theatre?

Neena Gupta – I think women should not hesitate, theatre is a friendly platform and it opens her up. It gives her a distinct confidence, a shine, in fact, all her inhibitions die. And it’s a good thing, isn’t it? She gets much stronger and most importantly she begins to bloom.


Team JWB – Nowadays we have seasons for every show in other countries, while in India, we are still lagging behind. We know that even your show is seasonal. When will we start focusing on content?

Anupam Kher – We are a young nation and we are slowly getting there where shows are seasonal. Shows are usually run until the audience is fed up. So yes, things are changing. Change is silent and it can’t be discovered until it happens.


Soon after the press conference, we sat waiting for the play to start. The auditorium was house-full, men, women and children alike had come to witness three legendary actors in theatre.


The play began with Mr. Kapoor (Rakesh Bedi) jogging in Lodhi Garden, New Delhi on a fresh morning. Pritam (Anupam Kher) and Hema (Neena Gupta) met at the garden, and started talking hesitantly. The departed lovers, according to the story, came face to face with each other and soon the reminiscence began.


The play has been given a beautiful story by Rakesh Bedi, who himself is a motif in the play. Our entire lives we misunderstand people until one day we find out the truth and then there’s only one thing we keep telling each other, “Mera Wo Matlab Nahi Tha” (That’s not what I meant).


The former lovers had misunderstood each other’s situation and assumed that they had been betrayed. Flashbacks were smartly done and Rakesh Bedi’s purpose of jogging around the couple, disturbing them, throwing in a few jokes every time he passes by, reveals the objective in the second half of the story.


The play is light, funny, heartbreaking, but its message is loud and clear. As actors, Neena Gupta and Anupam Kher definitely evoked the emotions of the audience and the story kept them indulged.

Photo Credit – Nupur Agarwal

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