Corruption, crime, rape, and increasing population are some of the many ills that plague our society. They slowly gnaw at its progress and take it backward. One such social ill is child sexual abuse. What’s even more vexing is that several times the predator turns out to be a close relative…an uncle, a cousin or a family friend. Alia Bhatt-starring Highway also touched upon this issue. 30 days in September is a thought-provoking play that throws light on this very problem.
Here’s a review of this gripping play written and directed by Mahesh Dattani.
Starring Ira Dubey, Padmavati Rao and Vipin Sharma, 30 Days in September has a run time of close to 75 minutes. And in these 75 minutes, the dark past of Mira’s (Ira Dubey) sexual abuse as a 7-year-old unfolds. Mira has been a victim of incest and the predator is no other than her maternal uncle (Vipin Sharma). Her past has messed up her present. Mira cannot help but promiscuously change sexual partners every 30 days.
On her calendar, the 29th of each month is struck off. The next day she must break up with her love interest and move on. She cannot understand the meaning of a true relationship and is unable to be in one for more than a month. The predator’s face constantly haunts her, making it impossible for her to truly love someone. But, more than the act of abuse what troubles Mira is her mother’s silence on this issue. She cannot come to terms with the fact that her mother never stood up for her.
Mira confronts her mother and constantly blames her for not standing up against her brother when the former was molested. Her mother would either stuff food in her mouth or go about with her religious duties. But, not once did her mother try to understand Mira’s plight when she was tormented by her uncle.
30 Days in September is a mirror to the aspects of a society we choose to be oblivious to. This play is surely not for the faint-hearted. If you think you can open up to one of the most depression-inducing and sensitive experiences of a human being, this play is a must-watch. Moreover, the cast impresses and how! Ira Dubey is great as a young and intelligent professional who is a wreck when it comes to her love life.
Veteran theatre personality Padmavati Rao as Mira’s mother delivers a stellar performance. Vipin Sharma as the perverted uncle and Kaizad Gandhi as Mira’s love interest also hold their own. Overall, this is a well-paced play that unfolds layer by layer and exposes a human’s vulnerabilities beautifully.