Of karma and insuppressible greedISLAMABAD:
What goes around, comes back around, was the theme of the 8th instalment of National Drama Festival. Titled ‘’Zameen Maa Hai’ (This land is our mother) dealt with the notion of Karma– the one theme that was discernable through the constant heckling and commentary from the audience at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Sunday.
PNCA, however, has made a commendable effort in arranging this festival, where attendance is free of cost for all but unfortunately, theatre etiquette and common courtesy seem to have evaded large swathes of the audience. There have been varying degrees of inappropriate catcalls from the audience throughout the festival, but limited to the extent that could be ignored or forgiven, as different people react to arts in a different manner. However, during ‘Zameen Maa Hai’, it was very tasking just to pay attention to the dialogue and performances amid all the commotion.
On the other hand, the cast tried their best to continue performing.
The play revolves around the story of Qurban (Ejaz Jibran), who is forced to sell his prized land to the rich and affluent Roshan (Yousaf Jafri). Roshan is the atypical villain who exploits the less fortunate. In contrast, Qurban, who is a victim of circumstances but by no means a redeeming character either, severely compromises his relationship with his wife (Dua) and son (Muzaffar Parwi). Urban mistreats them to the extent that they eventually leave him, with his son vowing to be a better man than the one that sired him.
Urban succumbs to a life of servitude and in such, fulfils his karmic lot. As the ultimate karmic conclusion, Qurban’s son, who has grown up to become a lawyer, returns to save his father from the venomous Rosa, but Rosa’s wealth saves him once again. It is only when Roshan learns that his son has passed away in a car accident, that Qurban’s son states, “Your wealth can save you from the court of law but it cannot save you from the court of Allah.”
The play was written and directed by Khwaja Iqbal Jo and produced by Ali Kazim Golden Production, Skardu. This was the first time the cast was performing on such a scale and they all thanked veteran actor Batin Farooqi profusely for his support in training them.
Later on Sunday, Art and Reality Production staged ‘Pani Pani Ray’, a play based on the bitter realities of society. Written and Directed by Urooj Akhtar, the play highlighted the nature of people whose greed suppresses their humanity.
Wealth is of no use to people when natural disasters like earthquake, flood and other tragedies strike, while it is actually our common belief in the human spirit that carries us through such situations. The story portrays floods taking away people’s worldly wealth, leaving them at the mercy of the elements. additional input from APP
Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2011.
Of karma and insuppressible greed