Actor Nimra Bucha says it was a privilege to read ‘Mughal Bachcha,’ also a Chughtai story, for Zee Theatre’s series ‘Yaar Julahay’
Zee Theatre’s series of dramatic readings, ‘Yaar Julahay,’ will screen Ismat Chughtai’s ‘Mughal Bachcha’ on Airtel Spotlight throughout this week. Popular actor Nimra Bucha who will be reading the story believes that readings based on subcontinental literature are seeing a revival during the pandemic because they give the audience a chance to connect to their literary roots.
‘Mughal Bachcha’ also took Nimra back to a memorable evening many years ago and she recalls, “I was lucky enough to watch Ratna Pathak Shah perform a story by Ismat Chughtai on stage when she and Naseer Saab had come to Pakistan with their drama group, ‘Motley’. She performed with such energy and now I too have the privilege to bring a Chughtai story to life.”
‘Mughal Bachcha’ revolves around Kalay Mian, a proud Mughal lad and Gori Bi, his beautiful bride. Kalay Mian is unable to set aside his ego and inferiority complex for a happy married life and Nimra says, “The story remains relevant till date because it is about love gone wrong, ego and conflict over a small issue that grows so big that it never lets two people come together.”
Director Kanwal Khoosat adds, “This is such an interesting story and when I first read it, I immediately thought that Nimra would be perfect for it. Luckily, she loved it too! Our rehearsals were full of laughter and improvisation and she was fabulous as always on stage.”
Nimra adds, “The story is so rich that I feel the text did all the work for me. I really enjoyed being a genderless explorer of the narrative where I could be a man or a woman and just play around with the material with complete freedom.”
According to her, the experience of shooting a dramatic reading was no different than acting in a film, OTT or TV show but it had an additional dimension because the ambience was that of live theatre. She says, “The shoot had the energy of a live performance on stage with the camera acting as an observer. I enjoyed the whole process immensely.”
(Cover: Actor Nimra Bucha in a still from the play)