The very nature of a public transport neutralises the boundaries of society and brings together people from all walks of life on to one bench. Capitalising on this equalising nature, Pooja Tripathi wrote the play Ladies Compartment to portray the lives of five different characters and juxtapose them with one simple fact which holds true for everyone — your situation is slave only to your perspective.
Pooja is actually many characters in one herself; besides being a physiotherapist and a mother, she has her fingers in many other pies. And in many ways, the play is also a reflection of her belief system. When she went out looking for roles in Bengaluru, she realised that somehow she was too old for any of the characters she auditioned for. So, she changed her perspective and instead of choosing resignation, she chose to change her designation. From an actor, she became a writer and started writing roles for herself. Today, Ladies Compartment has seen more than 20 houseful shows in Bengaluru, and has had a wonderful reception in Hyderabad as well. According to her “My looks should not define the roles I get, my acting should. So made it happen myself. It is up to you to make it or break it.”
Her co-actors Kalyani Menon and Chandni Mittal exude the same energy. They both have been sharing the stage with their writer, director Pooja for quite some time and both feel strongly about the play. “Even though this is a play about five women, everyone can relate to it,” says Chandni. According to Kalyani, “There have been men from the age of 18 to 72 who have watched and appreciated the play.”
And who would not want to get a big fix of the sheer humour that would come out of a Haryanvi lady cop, a maid, a socialite, a career woman, and widow trapped into a small metro compartment for one hour! Throw in there a gay angle and a transgender narrator and it becomes too difficult to not buy a ticket for this ride. As an added bonus, you get a juicy life lesson out of it as well.
The director wants to take this play to as many cities that would have her and hopes that someday lady luck will ride this ladies compartment as well, and the play will be picked up for a screenplay. Until that day comes, we all hope and pray that this train does not hit any red signals and hoots at as many stations as possible.