SONATA: About Women and Friendship

"Girl Friends" – Sejal Desai, Sindu Singh and Anju Prakash - the women of SONATA.
PC: Ashima Yadava

Should a man direct a play about women? A play with just three female characters?

Well, why not? If you could only direct plays that connected with your life experience, there would be a lot less theater and the world would be poorer for it. If Arthur Miller's historical fiction Crucible and Girish Karnad's mythological fiction Yayati, could be directed in the modern day, maybe it was OK for me to direct Sonata.

I told myself all this as rehearsals began and I gingerly stepped into the fluffy, pink slippers of the Sonata women and their world. From there, I got swept up in a flurry of perfumes, clothes, food, wine, dieting, gossiping about sex, reminiscing about lost love and the many many beautiful nooks and corners of this play. And I never looked back.

Sonata is a play about its characters. Three single, independent women living life on their own terms in Mumbai. The playwright, Mahesh Elkunchwar, has painted richly textured, intimate portraits of these women that are a joy to watch. And for an actor, the role of a lifetime.

Sonata is about friendship too. How three women who are very different from each other, met in college and became lifelong friends. They don’t approve of everything that their friends do, but it doesn’t get in the way of their friendship.

To my old friends - you may not be here with me, but like Dolon’s empty perfume bottles, your scent still lingers.

I hope you enjoy watching Sonata as much as I have enjoyed directing it.

Basab Pradhan