Nandita Das’ play mirrors her life off-stage

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Nandita Das’ play mirrors her life off-stage

Nandita Das admits her play Between-The-Lines mirrors her own life in certain ways

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Published: Tue 17 Feb 2015, 9:05 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:27 PM

Critically acclaimed Indian actress Nandita Das has made a name for herself in the cinema circuit with her unconventional roles and a fiery passion to make a difference.Nandita Das

Firaaq, her directorial debut feature film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008, and has been screened at over 50 festivals, winning over 20 awards. She has been on the jury of Cannes Film Festival twice (2005 and 2013) and has been conferred the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, by the French Government. 

This much decorated actor, now makes her debut as a playwright and theatre director with Between-the-Lines. A contemporary play set in urban India, Between-the-Lines delves into the issues created when well educated, affluent couples find themselves caught between modernity and tradition.

The play sees Nandita Das pitted against her real life husband, Subodh Maskara.

The protagonists of the play are Maya and Shekhar, a lawyer couple, who have been married for 10 years. Shekhar is a high-profile criminal lawyer, while Maya balances work and life, drafting routine contracts for a law firm. One is renowned and successful; the other, a former gold medalist, but now just a ‘novice’. As destiny would have it, they end up arguing on opposite sides of a criminal trial, resulting in the blurring of their personal and professional lives.

The case puts their personal relationship on trial as they explore the changing shapes of love and everyday life.

Incidentally, the theme mirrors Das’s life off-stage. “Yes, the lines sometimes do get blurred. The husband-wife equation is different from a director-actor and actor-actor equation. Many of our own conversations and discussions are part of the script,” says Das.

“Subodh and I often say that 50 per cent of the play is our life… but you have to guess which 50 per cent!”

The premise of the play is that inequalities in marriages often occur in relationships that are thought to be between equals. The play is thought provoking and raises many questions, answers some, and leaves some lingering thoughts.

This sensitive and intelligent play has attracted several theatre and film celebrities, such as Amitabh Bachchan, Vishal Bhardwaj, Prasoon Joshi and Alyque Padamsee amongst others. It has been met with rave reviews as well as critical acclaim, all encapsulated in a strong validation by Amitabh Bachchan – “It is quite extraordinary, exceptionally crafted and performed…Do not miss it.”

Between-the-Lines is being staged at the Centrepoint Theatre, DUCTAC, Mall of the Emirates on February 20 and 21.

Tickets priced at Dhs.500, 250 and 100 are available at the DUCTAC Box Office and online at 

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