On this years Women's Day (March 8th) Shailaja Nair Foundation sponsored two shows of the hit gujarati stage play “The Waiting Rooms”.
Commercial Gujarati theatre need not always be about laughs and slapstick comedy although it may often give the impression of being so. There is an attempt to do things differently as is evidenced by some productions, one of the recent being, THE WAITING ROOMS, written by Prayag Dave and directed by Dhiraj Palshetkar. Yet the need to co-opt with the larger establishment makes even the more thoughtful play, often predictable and clichéd. Uncomfortable themes (they are rarely very uncomfortable though) find 'happy' outcomes. Guarantee a few laughs here and there, some wise audible nods, and you might have cracked the formula of being different while still being essentially the same. It appears you can never risk too much.
The Waiting Rooms is a rare Gujarati play that comes as close to a feminist work as possible — the women are seen outside of the traditional roles they are forced into by society and free to express themselves, both their joy and their angst, in a kind of spontaneous sisterhood. They are, of course, bound together in more ways than this waiting room captivity, but that is what constitutes the shattering suspense.