Attention please!

Updated: May 12, 2019, 08:43 IST | Nasrin Modak Siddiqi

A modern-day play on ADD is striking a chord

Attention please!

Days before the debut of What Planet Are You On?, the ending of the play had not been written and the actors were in a panic. Writer-director Akarsh Khurana (of Karwan fame) was taking his time to come up with something that was brilliant, yet not preachy. "I kept them distracted with good food. They caught on eventually and demanded for the last few pages, but it was good to waylay them via their appetites for a bit," laughs Khurana.

Based on the work and findings of psychologist Pierre Pinchot, the play is about young Homi, who has concentration issues and discovers he has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). The story is told from the boy's point of view and on how he copes with this knowledge, and then his condition. The storytelling is simple, with music and a hint of fantasy.

"The cast includes award-winning playwright Siddharth, who is a terrific actor with high emotional intelligence. That helps his portrayal of Homi. Kashin Shetty brings his wit and wisdom to the parts he plays. I've thoroughly exploited Avantika Ganguly's singing skills and Bengali background in her multiple parts. Zayn Khan plays Homi's mother with surprising maturity. Muzammil Qureshi has brought so much humour to the play that he might be its saving grace. And Muskkaan Jaferi is quite the surprise package, nailing both the role of Homi's counselor, and the role of Nidhi, his love interest. There is a warmth that they all bring to the play," says Khurana.

Those who watched the show felt it should be made mandatory viewing for teachers and parents. It's a throwback to more innocent times and resonates with people as it reminds them of their school days. While Khurana is planning more shows in Delhi and Bangalore soon, "in the meantime, we intend to reach out to as many schools as possible, since it deals with something relevant, without being heavy or preachy," he adds.

What: What Planet Are You On?
When: May 12, 12 pm
Where: NCPA
Entry: Rs 300 onwards

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