In theatre: Anwar Maqsood’s ‘Siachen’ to come to Karachi on January 1
KARACHI: A play Siachen, centred on the lives and sacrifices of Pakistani soldiers, will be staged from Jan 1 to Feb 28 at the Arts Council Karachi’s auditorium, announced the writer of the play Anwar Maqsood at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Maqsood, using his trademark humorous tone tinged with satire, said that after doing a string of plays (Ponay 14 August, Sawa 14 August, Aangan Terha, Half Plate, Dharna, etc directed by Dawar Mehmood) he felt he was stuck with the production company like someone gets stuck in traffic during a VIP movement.
One day Mr Mehmood came to him and requested him to write a play on the army (fauj), he said. He first replied that he would do that in his will (wasiat) but afterwards, since he loved the soldiers of the country, he decided to do so. The script was written and sent to the ISPR for approval, he said. He told the ISPR that the story was primarily about soldiers (jawans) and not officers, he said, so after omitting a few things, the play was staged in Islamabad, Faisalabad and Multan.
Highlighting the popularity of the show, he said the production team had intended to put up 14 shows in Islamabad but had to do 52 instead. Similarly, the number of performances in Multan and Faisalabad were increased.
Mr Maqsood said Siachen revolved around the lives of soldiers who gave up so much in life to protect their motherland.
He narrated a scene in which the mother of a soldier, who has already lost two sons (shaheed), asks her third son to go to Siachen in the line of duty. She says to her son that his real mother was his motherland. Once he leaves the house, she prostrates before God and wishes if she had a daughter, for at least she could stay back at home with her.
He said if on the one hand the play would elicit laughter, on the other hand it would make the audience shed tears. Mr Maqsood also lauded the entire cast and crew of the show (comprising university and college students) stating they had been working hard on the project for the past three months.
Mr Mehmood told journalists that prior to Siachen, 90 per cent of the cast had no experience of acting, and yet they worked hard to do justice to their roles. They were sent to Siachen to have an idea as to how tough conditions there were, and were trained by an army man for fitness as well.
He requested theatregoers to wear warm clothes when they come to see the play because the temperature of the hall would be adjusted to create a cold (glacial) atmosphere.
After the press conference, the cast of the play was introduced to the media. They were: Nosheen, Summaya, Taha, Saad, Tanveer, Sikander Yousufzai, Agha Mustafa, Umar Iqbal, Abiola and Zain.
Jan 1 is the media night of the show.