Gujarati Play ‘Tu Che Lajawab’ is a Sold-Out Show in N.J.
More than 900 people enjoyed an evening of rib-tickling comedy as popular stage and television actress Sarita Joshi and her team delivered one punch line after other in the Gujarati drama “Tu Che Lajawab.” Presented by Gujarat Times, the sold-out show was held April 15 at the North Brunswick High School auditorium.
Starring Joshi, of “Baa Bahu Aur Baby” fame, along with Bakul Thakkar, Shruti Gholap, Hemant Bhatt, Vikram Mehta, Jai Pandya, Ashwini and Mehul Joshi, “Tu Che Lajawab” was produced by Show People and Kaustubh Trivedi and directed by Vipul Mehta.
The play is on its North America tour and has been staged in Plainsboro, N.J.; Flushing, N.Y.; Tucker, Ga.; Chicago; San Francisco; and Redwood, Calif.
Several prominent members of the tristate Indian-American community attended the event. Among them were Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of News India Times, Desi Talk and Gujarat Times; his wife, Dr. Sudha Parikh; Ramesh Patel, chairman of the Federation of Indian Associations; Chandrakant Patel and Sandeep Patel of Chowpatty restaurant, one of the sponsors; Atma Singh and Harkesh Thakkar of the Indian National Overseas Congress; and members of the Society of Indo American Engineers and Architects. Sponsors included Habib Bank, Premji Valji Jewellers and Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra expert Pallavi Chelavada.
“Tu Che Lajawab” is a satirical play about a housewife managing her home and raising kids. It revolves around Kaumudi (Joshi), lovingly called Moti by her husband BP, or Bijen Prasad Mehta (Thakkar), and Moti Bhabhi by brother-in-law Prashant (Mehta). Kaumudi dreams of marrying her younger sister to Prashant, an engineering graduate.
But that dream is shattered when Prashant announces he has married his sweetheart, Rashmi (Gholap). Kaumudi gets very agitated and immediately tries to transfer her matriarch’s duties to her newly arrived sister-in-law, but the bride is not yet ready to assume the responsibilities.
The newlyweds go off on their honeymoon to Paris and Kaumudi goes to visit her parents.
When the newlyweds and Kaumudi return home, the new bride has one arm in a cast and claims she fell off a horse. Kaumudi has a cast on her leg and claims that she, too, was injured by a horse. These complications are the beginning of two hours of nonstop laughter, and eventually the women are caught lying about their injuries. But their rivalry continues. Kaumudi, a religious lady, invites a sage to visit their home. All the family members pay their respects to him, but Rashmi ridicules him. When the sage reveals her inner thoughts, she gets embarrassed and apologizes.
Before leaving, the sage suggests that Kaumudi perform certain pujas and repeat a mantra for good luck and tranquility. Rashmi overhears the mantra. Knowing her intentions, the sage whispers secret instructions to Kaumudi that Rashmi cannot hear.
On the auspicious day when both women perform the puja, Rashmi surreptitiously extinguishes the diya, hoping that will bring bad luck to Kaumudi.
Upon seeing that her diya was not lit during the puja, Kaumudi throws a fit, appears to lose her memory and begins to act like a 14-year-old.
A doctor diagnoses that there is nothing wrong with her and adds that a sudden shock or making her remember a past event may bring her memory back.
The family tries various tricks such as a birthday celebration and voodoo to remove evil spirits, but nothing works. Then Rashmi announces that she is pregnant, but does not want to keep the baby as that will be too much stress for a busy housewife like her.
That upsets Kaumudi, who starts to scold Rashmi, making it apparent that she was faking her mental illness. The family starts arguing and blaming each other for the chaos. Kaumudi convinces the family that she needed to act the way she did, and Rashmi breaks down and admits her fault. They all accept each other’s faults and become a united, happy family once again.
The play ended with a loud applause, as Thakkar introduced the cast. Dr. Sudhir Parikh and Ramesh Patel presented a plaque to Joshi, while Dr. Sudha Parikh presented her a bouquet of flowers. As a special treat for the audience, Joshi delivered some dialogues from one of her most popular play, “Santu Rangili.”
Hasmukh Barot, editor of Gujarat Times, compered the event.
The event was organized by Ilayas Qureshi, director of advertising and marketing for News India Times, Desi Talk and Gujarat Times; Neela Pandya, senior manager, sales and marketing for News India Times, Desi Talk and Gujarat Times; Shailu Desai, advertising executive and Yogesh Mehta.