Barff: Burns More Than Fire Play Review


I went to see this play with my mom, dad and my younger brother the day before yesterday at the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam. The play had an interesting theme: the relation between truth and belief. Is truth what we all experience together or do we all have our own different truths? Does truth lead to belief or it’s belief that constructs the truth? Does truth actually exist or is it just a manifestation of one’s belief? These are the questions that coils around the audience and pulls them into this gripping thriller.

Barff is a thriller spanning over one night in the picturesque Kashmir. Parents of an ailing child and an unsuspecting doctor are the three characters caught in a trombe of conflicting opinions on truth and belief.


An Oncologist had come to Srinagar to attend a conference. The doctor went sightseeing but the cabbie’s wife kept calling him. The doctor heard their conversation; she wanted him to bring a doctor to check their baby but the cabbie kept telling her that the baby was fine. The doctor, intending to help the couple, offered to look at the baby. The cabbie reluctantly agrees to drive him to his home. The village where the cabbie lives is often caught in cross border fire and all the residents have been relocated to a safer location. The doctor suddenly realises that he’s walking into a deserted village whose sole occupants are the cabbie and his family. The mother, Nafisa turns out to be a psychotic, possessive mother and the plot thickens when the doctor finds himself tied to a chair.

The writer, director and actor, Saurabh Shukla, presents this perplexing theme ingeniously. The play was a light-hearted comedy, using the poor doctor’s dilemma and the husband’s efforts to help him as comic relief. It was an extremely engaging play, there were some moments when I was at the edge of my seat.

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The acting is mesmerising. The actors: Saurabh Shukla(Siddhart, The Doctor), Sadia Siddiqui(Nafisa, the mother) and Sunil Palwal(the father) are flawless. The Kashmiri accent by Sadia Siddiqui is excellent. The performance was enthralling. You simply couldn’t take your eyes off the stage, it was so absorbing.

The play was extremely well done and is a must-see. I would recommend it to everyone who love theatre and encourage those who have never experienced the bewitching atmosphere of theatre to go watch this. It is a magnificent play to introduce someone to the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious world of  theatre.


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