HYDERABAD: More than seven decades have passed since India was divided as were millions of hearts. And even now, when the country is witnessing an imbalance in the socio-political-cultural front reminders on Partition can make some sense prevail. The division saw the largest exodus history has ever witnessed on both sides of the border. That’s how the play in Hindustani-Punjabi Jis Lahore Nai Vekhya O Janmya Hi Nai performed at Institute of Management Technology (IMT) on Sunday was quiet a poignant experience for many attendees. It was presented by MCR HRD Institute in collaboration with Heritage Club of SPIC MACAY.
The Punjabi title of the play means ‘one who has not seen Lahore, has not been even born’. The play, directed by Ramchandra Singh, was presented by Habib Tanvir’s Naya Theatre. The team from Bhopal comprised 22 actors. As the play unfolded on the stage it was clear that it focused more on the inspiring stories of brotherhood and compassion and not the usual acts of violence and extreme religious hatred which most of the stories of Partition resonate.
The play revolves around a Muslim family emigrated from Lucknow to Lahore in 1947. The family moves in a haveli, in Lahore. They are surprised to see an elderly Hindu woman living over there. Despite the religious differences and initial bitterness both the parties warm up to each other. It strengthens in spite of the efforts of anti-social elements trying their best to destroy their unity.
Written by Asghar Wajahat, a recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy Award, the play was first performed in 1989 directed by widely acclaimed playwright-poet-actor the late Habib Tanvir. It was later staged at Sydney, New York, Dubai, Karachi, Lahore, and several cities in India.