Welcome Zindagi is a play located in a two room flat in the heart of Mumbai city. The flat is inhabited by a family of three - Arun Ganatra, his wife Bhanu Ganatra, and son Vivek Ganatra. The central conflict in the play arises out of the lack of communication between the father and the son. They communicate through Bhanu. But one day, the bridge folds up, refusing to take the excess load of the coming conflict. Sparks fly and finally, the son leaves the house.
Arun has bought new clothes and prepared a speech for his retirement day at the office. But it begins to pour, bringing the city to a standstill. There will be no farewell. Yet, Arun decides to make his speech, for Bhanu. It is a balance sheet of his life. Laden with deep emotion, it ends with a plea to all fathers to learn to talk with their sons. Bhanu narrates the behavioural patterns of both father and son. It is her wisdom and understanding of life that gives the play its humour and depth. The conflict is not just a simple generation conflict; it is a conflict between middle class reality and an upper class aspiration. The play, though dealing with this complex situation, has strong inherent threads of humour.
Entertain…Entertain and Enlighten. My chief endeavour, both as a writer and director, is to create and present content that entertains, but not at the cost of one’s soul. As a creator I am interested in the drama that lies around me. The creation lies in sifting from the large mass of content that I live in. As a creator I feel obliged to bridge the gap between the parallel and professional theatre. I am a theatre addict and I want to perform as often as possible. That will happen only if I try to reach out to as many people as possible. And I strongly feel that a play created by an honest mind and a clean heart, and a play that brings life to life will automatically have a mass appeal. No superficial commercial compromise is required.
The Director & Playwright
Saumya Joshi, born and brought-up in Ahmedabad, started doing theatre at the age of 17. He started a student theatre group named Fade-in Theatre in 2001, which became immensely popular amongst both, the aspiring theatre artistes as well as the audiences. Fade-in Theatre organised many theatre festivals including a three-month long theatre festival named Wings. To connect to the students of other cities and towns of Gujarat, Saumya started a theatre movement called Rangaaraa. In 2010, with the play Welcome Zindagi, he entered the commercial theatre scene. Welcome Zindagi was a huge success. Then he wrote and directed the play 102 Not Out which again become a big success. Welcome Zindagi has done more than 500 shows in Gujarat, Mumbai and abroad. 102 Not Out has done more than 600 shows. After 102 Not Out, he adapted and directed Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Naa Karo which has completed 100 shows. The upcoming Hindi film 102 Not Out, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor, is the screen adaptation of Saumya’s play, and he has written the screenplay and dialogues of the film as well.
Sparsh Productions is a Mumbai based group which is committed to bring novel content to mainstream Gujarati theatre. It is headed by eminent theatre and film director Umesh Shukla. He has co-produced this play with Bharat Thakkar.
Cast & Credits
Arun Ganatra Saumya Joshi
Bhanu Ganatra Jigna Vyas
Vivek Ganatra Abhinay Banker
Assistant Director Jigna Vyas
Set Design Saumya Joshi, Kabir Thakore
Costume Jigna Vyas
Music & Lyrics Saumya Joshi
Playwright & Director Saumya Joshi