Zee Theater celebrates unconventional mothers with stories that honor their humanity

Every Mother’s Day, the tireless work mothers do to raise their children is glorified without regard to the fact that they too have human limitations and need a little time off for themselves. In Zee Theater eleplays like “Ma Retire Hoti Hai”, “Canda Hai Tu” and “Aye Ladki”, you will meet women who remind us that mothers too are exhausted and deserve care and support rather than simple praise.

*An overview*

*Aye Ladki:* This masterpiece written by Jnanpith Prize winner Krishna Sobti revolves around the relationship between a sick old woman and her daughter who takes care of her. The mother is full of nostalgia for her youth, her marriage, her pregnancy and the family she has built. As her life draws to a close, she wonders if she should have done more with her life. Could she have been more than just a wife, mother, grandmother, nurturer of a great clan? She sometimes makes fun of her unmarried daughter for not having anyone to talk to, but at the same time she is possessive enough not to lose sight of her. Between waves of regrets and conflicting emotions, she finally understands that her daughter, whom she disdainfully calls “Aye Ladki”, is her own person. And that she herself was more than the roles she played as wife and mother. ‘Aye Ladki’ was written by Sobti as a semi-biographical tribute to his mother. He continues to remind audiences that beyond the responsibilities women are expected to shoulder, they are individuals who deserve to chart their own path in life.
Directed by Rasika Agashe, the teleplay also stars Sapna Sand, Bhumika Dubey, Manjeet Yadav.

*Maa Retires Hoti Hai:* Originally written in Marathi by Ashok Patole, this Rajan Tamhane director stars the late Reema Lagoo as Sudha, the selfless mother, wife and grandmother who decides one day to “retire” from her household chores. After serving her family unconditionally for decades, she finally achieves the unthinkable by deciding to live as she pleases. As the play unfolds, we realize that Sudha had been a writer but her potential was stifled by domestic life. The piece makes shrewd commentary on how women are taken for granted and expected to sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of everyone else. The story also describes how little respect they are given for all the unpaid work they do at home. The play’s director is Suman Mukhopadhyay and it also stars Yatin Karyekar, Sachin Deshpande, Shweta Mehendale, Sanket Phatak, Mansi Naik and Rutuja Nagwekar. You can watch “Maa Retire Hoti Hai” on May 8 on Dish and D2H Rangmanch Active and Airtel Spotlight.

*Chanda Hai Tu:* This play was written by famed playwright Jaywant Dalvi’s teleplay, as a poignant tribute to motherhood and parenthood. It depicts the difficulties of raising a physically handicapped child in the face of limited resources, financial responsibilities and professional obligations. The protagonists of the play are Mr. and Mrs. Shukla who find ways to make ends meet while trying to keep their sanity intact as caregivers to their son “Bachu”. They split their time to make sure at least one parent is always home, but Bachu isn’t always docile and easy-going and sometimes tests his patience beyond endurance. Ms. Shukla, played by Smita Bansal, is also a working woman and someone who sometimes just wants a little respite from her endless chores. The way she finds hope and light in this dark existence is inspiring to watch. Directed by Nishikant Kamat for the camera and for the stage by Atul Parchure, the teleplay also stars Manav Gohil, Sanjay Batra, Prasad Barve and Atul Parchure.

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