Jis Lahore Nahi Dekhya – A story of a country divided, but not the heart.
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Jis Lahore Nahi Dekhya, O Jamyai Nai’, (There Is No Point Of Taking Birth If You Haven’t Seen Lahore)
Few gentlemen in Lahore are cheering for one of their own who became a leader of the Muslim league. In between their muddles and dilemma of religion and patriotism, there comes a crack, a partition, which divides them into two nations based on their religion. A divide that stood testimony to violence, hate, prejudice and fervor. Thousands lost their own and the ones who survived were uprooted and displaced.
The play, Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya brings into the frame, such times, which, stored a story of a mother who wouldn’t leave her house, even when the entire city washed out.
The stage is all set around an empty Haveli (a private mansion), in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, which once belonged to a Hindu Jeweller family which became a victim of partition in 1947.
Soon the door opens and a chirpy young girl enters the Haveli with her family (Father, Mother & Brother). Partition has brought this Muslim family from Lucknow, they too have had their share of suffering and with great difficulties they have managed to arrange an allotment of a new house in this new city of Lahore.
Seconds, as they get acquainted to the new surroundings, they discover that an old Hindu woman is residing in their newly allotted house and refuses to leave, calling it her own. She has lived her 70-80 years in Lahore and the dark night of partition robbed her beloved son, Ratan & family. She is persistent to stay in her house and as a result, the two divided sides are forced to live together.
Forced by the needs of their own the family plans on getting rid of the old lady, but up to no avail. The family, brings in the local, political thug, Yaqoob Pahalwan, who senses an advantage of his own and is blind to the bond of loving kindnesses and empathy that has slowly made its way around this house. Soon, Ratan ki Maa, becomes Maai of Lahore and helps people around town with her experience and skills.
The blindfolded hatred under the garb of religion, stirred by the intentions of swindling the old woman’s wealth, keeps growing within the bully’s mind and ends up reaching Maai; forcing her to finally leave her land & find her way to India. Although, she’s brought back home by the one’s she served and loved. Although, a few nights later, as if, her soul was satiated with the world beneath her wings, she departs for her heavenly abode.
There is much more than this story to this naatak (play) and it’s an experience of its own. The script is flawlessly written and the performances will touch your heart. While some will be left teary-eyed, some will be forced to think about the long lost era. The shayaris, laughable notes and dialogues will keep you engaged and every now and then, when you’ll feel a gush of empathy or patriotism, your hands will motion automatically towards a clap or more.
Those who love the languages, Urdu & Punjabi will surely have some of the famous dialogues resonating through their ears for some time. Few such dialogues, which Maulvi sahab shares struck me as lessons; ‘Ae khuda ka gharhaiputtar, aitheghabrana change nai lagda’, ‘Ladna hai to apne nafznaallado, khudgarzi, laalach, naallado, eh hi sabse bada jihaadhai’ and many more.
All the characters in the play are well crafted and the actors do more than 100% justice to their roles. The central role of Maai is potentially played & justified with sheer brilliance by Actor Preeta Mathur Thakur and such is the role of the relentless extremist villain Yaqoob, very well demonstrated by Binnie Mariwala.
It’s my interpretations of the play and I strongly believe in ‘To each their own’. The story is sure to touch a chord whether it’s with patriotism, humanity, religion or partition, it’ll surely enthuse the thought of ‘however, how much we are divided by the zillion factors that separate us, we belong to each other’.
Show Dates: DUCTAC, 24th October 2015
Director – Dinesh Thakur
Writer – Asghar Wajahat, The Ank Theatre Group
Artists – Preeta Mathur Thakur, Dharmesh Tiwari, Madhu Shrivastav, Rekha Rana, Ashish Salim, S.C. Makhija, Aman Gupta, Binnie Mariwala, Rohit Chaudary, Akshay Sharma, Rohit Chaudary, Vinay Lathwal, Rakesh, Rohan Shroff, Rutul, Sunil and many more.
Team UrCuppaLife, gives a Super Like to Planb events for bringing in btheatre to reality & give a stage for such plays in a land which strongly believes in Spirit of the Union. We strongly recommend this play to all the play lovers and non-lovers. It is surely a must watch. We would wait for more and more shows of this and similar plays in Dubai. Jis ye play Nahi Dekhya, O Jamyai Nai’…