Clamour, chaos and change

This fresh play from a Mumbai-based theatre company, in Bengaluru last week, explored the frivolous, turbulent-yet-relatable urban life of a young adult
A still from the play
A still from the play

For this girl of 25, living with her parents, life on a daily basis is a constant barrage of frivolous odds to be overcome. One particular morning, as she wakes to the realisation that she missed a work meeting, the latest of several, the day spirals out of control. Faced with unemployment, and an overbearing mother, the girl goes on a day’s journey, looking for ways to escape her mundane-yet-turbulent urban life, while simultaneously looking for someone to pin the blame on for her life.

Written by the thespian Mallika Shah, I Killed My Mother/It Wasn’t My Fault is the story of an ordinary day in the life of a privileged, inquisitive, and socially conscious woman. It delves into the emotional complexities of self-acceptance and the journey toward understanding and growth. Following its premiere in Mumbai earlier this year, the production was staged at various venues last month.

“With this play, I just wanted to put all of these young issues onto the stage. I don’t feel like young people want to go to the theatre anymore. So I wanted to create something that is contemporary and poignant, yet with which people can relate,” says Shah, who also directed the play.

Despite the gory name, the play is actually a comedy exploring the younger generation’s dysfunctional relationship with social media and the older generations. “It’s a response to everything that’s happening right now. The crazy use of social media that is in all of our lives, the amount of discord we have with older generations, and the self-doubt and hate we go through every day. Oftentimes, people cannot get out of these cycles,” explains Shah, who made a conscious decision to situate the characters of the play within a savarna space. “Our politics these days are situated in our identities so much, so I wanted to situate the protagonist in this victimising space, projecting her as this anti-victim,” she adds.

While I Killed My Mother/It Wasn’t My Fault is primarily a relatable production for younger audiences, Shah says it received a positive reception from audiences from older generations as well. “Many, like those from my parents’ generation, relate to the play as well, because they see themselves and their children in the characters as well. I was afraid the play would be only relatable to young women, but as it turns out a lot of men also like the experience that the play offers,” Shah concludes.

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