‘Jinnay Lahore ni Vekhya’ depicts

‘Jinnay Lahore ni Vekhya’ depicts
Sunday, July 05, 2009
By Schezee Zaidi
Islamabad
The portrayal of the most glorifying human emotion of compassion and love as the core element to fight extremism and hatred was at the heart of ‘Jinnay Lahore ni Vekhya’ at the PNCA drama festival.
The popular play, staged by Sheema Kermani and her group Tehrik-e-Niswan on Friday and Saturday at the National Art Gallery Auditorium, was well received by the audience to the last for skilled performances by the entire cast around a well-knitted theme of an immigrant family in post-Partition Lahore.
Conveyed through the powerful and magical medium of theatre, whether in the form of tragedy, comedy or satire, the main idea of the play is to narrate the historical realities, touching the lives of ordinary people and shake up a nation’s collective conscience, make people think and question things, and admonish apathy.
Scripted and adapted for stage by Anwar Jaffery from the original drama, written by Asghar Wajahat, and with a finer touch of direction by Sheema Kermani, the wonderful production of Tehrik-e-Niswan is based on a true story of a Hindu woman, caught in the aftermath of Partition in Muslim dominated Pakistan. Set in Lahore of 1947 immediately after Partition, the story begins with the arrival of an immigrant family in Pakistan, which has been allotted a ‘haveli’ abandoned by a Hindu family. Having spent many torturous months in ‘Mohajir’ camps, the family looks forward to start a new life in their new home but to their dismay, they find a Hindu woman, the mother of the owner Ratan Lal Johari, still living in the ‘haveli’.
The presence of this old Hindu woman also irks some local ruffians, who believe that the country now belongs only to Muslims. This is opposed by poet Nasir Kazmi and the Maulvi of a local mosque. In the midst of the conflict, the old woman endears almost everybody she comes across with her loving and helpful nature, which is why that finally when she dies, a debate ensues in the community over the issue of performing her last rites.
As the play’s theme is based on a real occurrence, the dialogues of Nasir Kazmi have been taken from his letters and writings. The cast gave a very refined and accurate performance as per the mood of the play. It is also not out of context to mention that the play received great accolades in India.
Powerful dialogues with meaningful connotations from people like Sheema Kermani, who are engaged in activism and theatre for a cause, portrays the common concern about the exploration of ways in which the formal qualities of their art form creates a dialogue on ways in which important socio-political issues affect the everyday lives of people. Sheema explains that she believes that culture and cultural activists, the arts and creative media present many opportunities for promoting the understanding of human rights, and forging unity and awareness amongst the people.
Since its inception in 1980, Sheema Kermani’s Tehrik-e-Niswan (women’s movement) has consistently strived to raise awareness about women’s rights in Pakistan through cultural and artistic expression, using the medium of theatre, dance, music and video productions.

By Schezee Zaidi

The portrayal of the most glorifying human emotion of compassion and love as the core element to fight extremism and hatred was at the heart of ‘Jinnay Lahore ni Vekhya’ at the PNCA drama festival.

The popular play, staged by Sheema Kermani and her group Tehrik-e-Niswan on Friday and Saturday at the National Art Gallery Auditorium, was well received by the audience to the last for skilled performances by the entire cast around a well-knitted theme of an immigrant family in post-Partition Lahore.

Conveyed through the powerful and magical medium of theatre, whether in the form of tragedy, comedy or satire, the main idea of the play is to narrate the historical realities, touching the lives of ordinary people and shake up a nation’s collective conscience, make people think and question things, and admonish apathy.

Scripted and adapted for stage by Anwar Jaffery from the original drama, written by Asghar Wajahat, and with a finer touch of direction by Sheema Kermani, the wonderful production of Tehrik-e-Niswan is based on a true story of a Hindu woman, caught in the aftermath of Partition in Muslim dominated Pakistan. Set in Lahore of 1947 immediately after Partition, the story begins with the arrival of an immigrant family in Pakistan, which has been allotted a ‘haveli’ abandoned by a Hindu family. Having spent many torturous months in ‘Mohajir’ camps, the family looks forward to start a new life in their new home but to their dismay, they find a Hindu woman, the mother of the owner Ratan Lal Johari, still living in the ‘haveli’.

The presence of this old Hindu woman also irks some local ruffians, who believe that the country now belongs only to Muslims. This is opposed by poet Nasir Kazmi and the Maulvi of a local mosque. In the midst of the conflict, the old woman endears almost everybody she comes across with her loving and helpful nature, which is why that finally when she dies, a debate ensues in the community over the issue of performing her last rites.

As the play’s theme is based on a real occurrence, the dialogues of Nasir Kazmi have been taken from his letters and writings. The cast gave a very refined and accurate performance as per the mood of the play. It is also not out of context to mention that the play received great accolades in India.

Powerful dialogues with meaningful connotations from people like Sheema Kermani, who are engaged in activism and theatre for a cause, portrays the common concern about the exploration of ways in which the formal qualities of their art form creates a dialogue on ways in which important socio-political issues affect the everyday lives of people. Sheema explains that she believes that culture and cultural activists, the arts and creative media present many opportunities for promoting the understanding of human rights, and forging unity and awareness amongst the people.

Since its inception in 1980, Sheema Kermani’s Tehrik-e-Niswan (women’s movement) has consistently strived to raise awareness about women’s rights in Pakistan through cultural and artistic expression, using the medium of theatre, dance, music and video productions.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=186540

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