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Those Indian Guys in D'Arranged Marriage & From India With Love
 
19/06/2005
New Sunday Times
FROM INDIA WITH LOVE
You gotta see it to believe it
By Kiren Kaur & Subhadra Devan

From India With Love offers a parental advisory: As the show deals with marriage, it may not be suitable for young children or bachelors.

After watching the show last week, children and bachelors alike may see happily-ever-after take new meaning, especially if life was just like a Bollywood movie.

But that’s half the fun in this screamingly hilarious show currently being performed at Actors Studio in Bangsar.

The plot was nothing much to shout about — after all how complicated is the journey of a young Indian couple from the backwaters of India to New Zealand?

The Hindi songs were memorable ones — Yeh Dosti from Sholay, Aap Jaisa Koi Meri from Qurbani and the title track from Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham just to name a few.

It started with the telling of Pushpa (dark as a burnt chappati) and Manhur’s love story which is sparked by their grandson.

“Why was Dadaji (granddad) such a wise man” the little boy asked, and so the tale was spun as we were transported back in time to a little village in India.

Those Indian Guys — Rajeev Varma and Tarun Mohanbhai — plus one wooden puppet, and some pre-recorded screen footage was all it took to have audiences in stitches within a minute of the start.

There are plenty of gags to keep you cracking up during this 75-minute show, without intermission.

The most outrageous character has to be Dillip — the C grade porter and D grade doctor pal of Manhur. He is full of sage advice such as “forget the facts”.

As to how to woo Pushpa, he shows Manhur the lip-synching way with a classic Milli Vanilli number (remember them?) complete with dance moves.

Manhur uses his newfound steps to impress Pushpa at a chance meeting in a hospital — her dad’s ill and he has a fly in his ear (not to be confused with diarrhoea).

They get married but money is hard to come by and so Manhur decides to seek his fortune in New Zealand.

In the cops vs robber scene (and one of the best scenes in this show), Dillip the happy luggage pinching porter/doctor is shot, and then shot, and then shot again.

In his dying breath, he gives Manhur the money needed to make the break to Kiwiland. And, it isn’t the pistols, machine guns or the hand grenade that kills him...

All the death scenes are done in true Hindi movie fashion in the play and what show stealers they are.

Dillip’s demise is only just topped by Dadaji’s journey into the light — that is, disco lights — and as you see him “shake his groove thang” up in heaven with the gods.

Don’t let’s get started on the gods in this show. It is going to fall under “you gotta see it to believe it” category.

Suffice to say that Rajeev’s portrayal of Krishna in Xena — Warrior Princess had that episode banned in India.

Those Indian Guys were as politically incorrect as you can get without being locked up — taking digs at the Chinese, the Taiwanese, India and Indians and most definitely their own home.

From India With Love is just the dose of laughter the doctor recommended.