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HomeEntertainmentAmma Mathu Suhail is an ode to intersectionality, empathy and queer love

Amma Mathu Suhail is an ode to intersectionality, empathy and queer love

Scenes from the play Amma Mathu Suhail
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In an effort to address a topic often overlooked by Kannada media, playwright and director Karthik Hebbar has crafted the thought-provoking play, Amma Mathu Suhail (My Mother and Suhail). Produced by the Dheemahi Center of Arts, the play aims to spread the message of mutual understanding.

“I wanted to create a story that made me feel seen — something that future college-going Karthiks could relate to,” Karthik says.

The play, originally written in Kannada with English subtitles, delves into the life of a gay, interfaith couple grappling with the microaggressions arising from their diversity. Through a musical journey filled with humour, drama, and laughter and tears, the play highlights both the beauty and the challenges of their relationship.

Bringing a certain emotional depth to their performance, Hebbar sings the scores live, using music composed by various musicians such as Jagjit Singh and Amir Khusrau as well as some self-composed pieces to pass on his message.

Karthik Hebbar

Karthik Hebbar
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The narrative unravels issues of homophobia and Islamophobia, leaving the audience in an introspective mood. “I saw general hate in the mainstream media and political discourse. Further, even within the queer community, there is an oppression of other minorities by elites. Seeing this inspired me to write the story,” Karthik said.

The play also addresses the problems of generational trauma and societal divides, creating a safe space for individuals of all backgrounds to come together and enjoy a beautifully composed narrative.

Many audience have been inspired by the play that they have returned for future shows. “It was heartwarming to see people bring their family and come out to them after our play. In fact, doctors from National Institute Of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) recommend our play to patients,” said Hebbar.

In an era where it is easy to give in to hate and increase the gap of “othering,” this play emphasises that love and empathy can go a long way. Realising the pain that another goes through and working with them as they battle it is the central idea that reverberates throughout Amma Mathu Suhail.

The play not only calls for acceptance but also highlights the importance of bridging societal divides. It is a play for all ages and backgrounds; all one needs is an open heart and mind.

Amma Mathu Suhail will next be staged at the Bangalore International Centre, Domlur, on July 8. For details log on to

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