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Those Indian Guys in D'Arranged Marriage & From India With Love
 
12/06/2005
New Sunday Times
HILARITY AT ITS INDIAN BEST
Monodrama D’ARRANGED MARRIAGE hits Kiren Kaur’s funny bone
By Kiren Kaur

Those Indian Guys: sounds vaguely like an Indian restaurant on Asian Heritage Row in KL. As I walked into the Actors Studio in Bangsar last week to catch these chaps’ show D’Arranged Marriage, I hoped it would be as good as the food in any restaurant (you know, Malaysians and our food).

I was not disappointed. From start to the grand finale, it was a blast. If you thought that Sanjeev Bhaskar (The Kumars at No. 42) was funny, well, these two young men from New Zealand could give him a serious run for his money: think Jay Leno, but Indian!

D’Arranged (deranged) Marriage is a 75-minute, no intermission, one-man train ride to Laughsville with the main character Sanjay (played alternately by Rajeev Varma and Tarun Mohanbhai) narrating his very personal and often hilarious journey to wedded bliss.

The set consisted of some lovely sparkly sari in various pastel hues, and that was about it really. A series of slides introduced us to all seven of the weird and wacky characters in his life, a brilliant touch.

Dear old Mamaji and Papaji were there, various uncles, a couple of friends, parents of the prospective bride and the self confessed hottie (bride) Neenu.

The crowd favourite were the typical Indian parents, Manhur and Puspha.

This is just one guy on stage playing all these characters, playing off Western values against traditional Indian ways in this play about arranged marriages.

All this, and a few Bollywood-style song and dance routines thrown in as well. It boggles the mind to think how he possibly thought he could get away with a ‘love’ scene but he did and the echoes of “oh munnu oh puspu” still ring.

Slap your thigh, laugh out loud and as everyone else is laughing so hard no one would even care that your laugh is weird.

It was really refreshing to see that Rajeev and Tarun did not subscribe to the tired, tested Indian gags and told a much more original piece.

Well yeah, arranged marriages aren’t exactly new but seeing it told from the eyes of an overseas Indian made me realise that you can take the Indian out of India but you can’t take India out of the Indian... cool. And how come no one told me it’s now lawyer/doctor/accountant — what happened to the engineer?

Worry not about any strange Indian words that might be thrown at you during the show, as it is all summarised at the beginning of the show.

Were there any major lessons to be learnt from this lighthearted tale of requited love? Well, most importantly, Indian men can do stand up comedy.