Directed by Arvind Gaur and presented by Asmita Theatre Group, Asghar Wajahat’s play Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya Woh Jamyai Nai – The Person Who Hasn’t Seen Lahore, Hasn’t Been Born Yet – is a well-known classical Indian play set in 1947 in the backdrop of the Partition.
Though it was banned in Pakistan in 1991, it has been performed countless times in both Pakistan and India.
The story revolves around Sikandar Mirza and his family, who migrate to Pakistan and are allotted a haveli by the custodian. Mirza and his family are shocked to find the old Hindu landlady – Ratan ki Maa – still in the house. She is one of the few people who didn’t leave for India as many others did. A victim of hate, violence, and tragedy, she has lost everything, except for the ability to give love and affection.
Asghar Wajahat – Indian playwright, literary veteran and former professor of Hindi at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia – has written a poignant screenplay that narrates the story in an amalgamated plot. It charts the relationship of Ratan ki Maa with the Mirza family at one level. At another level, the story shows how goons try to use religion against Ratan ki Maa for an ulterior motive and how priests are wooed to get legitimacy for their intentions and actions.
One day, the old lady dies, and this is when the narrative reaches its climax by demonstrating the clash of greed and fundamentalism versus sanity and love for fellow human beings.
Complementing Wajahat’s poignant writing is the powerful cast of Kakoli Gaur Nagpal, Rahul Khanna, Davinder Kaur, Saveree Sri Gaur, Bajrang Bali Singh, Prince Nagpal, Prabhakar Pandey, Shivam Bhasin, Karan Khanna, Ujjwal Bhardwaj, Komal, Sahil Mukhi, Gurjeet Pathak, Alok Maurya and music by Dr Sangeeta Gaur, the play will narrate a story that goes beyond the borders of two countries.
When: 15 August, 7 pm to 9 pm
Where: Shri Ram Centre, Mandi House
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