India-Pak play about letter-writing to premiere at Urdu pageant in UK


London, August 28

The UK premiere of a play primarily based on a collection of letters describing the real-life experiences of an Indian husband and his Pakistani spouse are among the many highlights of a first-of-its-kind digital Urdu pageant being hosted in Britain.

‘Mian Biwi Aur Wagah’ will likely be showcased subsequent week at Jashn-e-Rekhta (JeR) UK, the world’s largest Urdu language literary occasion held yearly in Delhi since 2016 which has taken on a digital avatar for the UK in mild of the coronavirus lockdown.

“It is indeed a great honour that an institution like Rekhta recognised our efforts for the love of Urdu,” mentioned Amna Khaishgi, workforce chief of Goonj, the theatre group behind the play co-written by Dubai-based Ehtesham Shahid, who additionally portrays the primary lead of Mian.

Reflecting on the irony of a play on letter-writing having to utilize a digital platform, Shahid mentioned: “It’s a sign of things to come, but the human need to express oneself cannot be fulfilled through just one medium, and letters can still create magic if one is willing to pick up pen and paper. It’s a matter of time before we will re-discover the joy of something as intimate as writing letters.” All the performers of the play, known as MBW for brief, have written their very own scripts and verses.

“Team MBW reflects the vision of Rekhta where language, art, and literature transcend borders. The simplicity of letters in the play form layers that resonate with the audience,” mentioned Sanjiv Saraf, the Founder of the Rekhta Foundation.

Jashn-e-Rekhta UK, organised by the Rekhta Foundation UK over two days on September 5 and 6, is pitching itself as a singular “immersive experience” that may carry collectively unique classes and digital archive of artwork types, together with poetry (mushaira), literature, storytelling (Dastangoi), ghazals, Sufi music, qawwali, dance and drama.

“Urdu’s uniqueness lies in the way it brings together Arabic, Farsi and other Indian dialects. As one of the most elegant languages, Urdu is able to express love in all its manifestations, divine and earthly, using the most beautiful symbolism. No matter who speaks it, magic is always felt. JeR UK gives us the opportunity to experience this magic through musical performances, discourses, dance and theatre,” added Saraf.

Among the opposite highlights embrace “Cinema – Kal Aur Aaj”, throughout which famed poets and lyricists Javed Akhtar and Manoj Muntashir will likely be in dialog about movies, lyrics and Urdu poetry.

India-based filmmaker Tanuja Chandra, UK-based writer-filmmaker Nasreen Munni Kabir and Pakistani actor Sania Saeed will talk about the contribution of Urdu to the world of cinema and tv within the “Cinema Aur TV Ki Zubaan” session and lyricist Gulzar will likely be speaking about his love for Urdu in “Ye Kaisa Ishq Hai Urdu Zabaan Ka”.

Tanuja Chandra mentioned: “While on the one hand, gatherings of enormous crowds, particularly these belonging to our subcontinental diaspora are heady and enjoyable, what’s been nice about digital occasions this 12 months, is that folks from all around the world have watched and took part in them.” Rekhta Foundation UK, as a registered UK charity, has been set as much as protect and promote the languages, literature and tradition of South Asia with a specific give attention to Urdu.

“Rekhta.org, the world’s largest repository of Urdu literature, is followed by nearly 226,000 people in the UK, including 211,000 in England and 84,000 followers in the city of London alone,” it says, in reference to the recognition of the language in Britain.

Alongside the specifically curated classes for the UK, the pageant subsequent week may also provide an opportunity for audiences to discover among the hottest occasions from JeR India’s archives of previous occasions. PTI



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