Setup in 1947, the title of the play states that one’s life is incomplete without experiencing Lahore. Pre-1940 Lahore was a land of religion tolerance. The city had multi-religion, multi-cultural residents who had lived their for generations, till until the dark clouds of partition covered the city and ruptured it from within. The play starts in this dark era of Indo-Pakistan separation.
The play tells the story of an old Hindu woman who is waiting alone at her Lahore home when most non-muslims have fled the city. She is waiting for her son, Ratan, to come back. Meanwhile, her haveli is assigned to a Lucknavi family who have left their home in India to move to Pakistan. What follows is a story which upholds humanity and selflessness in the darkest of the eras.
This acclaimed play from writer Asghar Wajahat, performed by Dinesh Thakur’s Ansh Theatre Group is one of the most intriguing plays I have seen. The performance of actors is top-notch and moving. Preeta Mathur Thakur has played the central role which will remain etched in the audience memory for long. The direction is tight and keeps the audience hooked.
AglaPlay Verdict: A must watch. AglaPlay Rating: 5/5 Language: Hindi / Urdu /Punjabi Duration: Approx. 2 hours Writer: Asghar Wajahat Director: Late Dinesh Thakur Cast: Preeta Mathur, Aman Gupta, Atul Mathur, Pragati Pandey, Shilpa Chakravarty, Ashish Saleem, and others
Below are a few relevant links. I have also posted the link to Dramatic Club IIT Delhi’s club video for those who may not be able to watch the performance live in their cities.
Other Links A Scene from the play Asghar Wajahat Wikipedia Dinesh Thakur Wikipedia A column on pre-1947 Lahore by A Hameed The Hindu article on Dinesh Thakur Jis Lahore Nahi Dekhyaa performance by IIT Delhi