‘A reminder of our wrong doings, others’ exploitation’
ISLAMABAD: Written by Khwaja Moin-u-Din in 1956, the soul-touching play “Mirza Ghalib Bandar Road Par” has still relevance to our present day societal scenario. We have the same moral and social lacking as we had about 53 years back. Perhaps, our moral and social values have declined more than what prevailed in the early days of our country.
Directed by renowned artist Qavi Khan, the play was staged on Sunday night at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) as part of their National Drama Festival 2009.
Produced by Qavi Khan Theatre, Lahore, “Mirza Ghalib Bandar Road Par” reminded us of our wrong doings and exploitation of others, and what we are doing with our social fabric and national elements. The play suggests that the psychosocial behaviours of elder generation have led us to a morally weak society. But, the author pins hope in the young to rebuild the morals.
A teenager, a character in the play, sells newspapers to support his education while his father is involved in street crimes. The young aspires to get higher education and touch a significant social status as medical doctor. The roadside hotel owner, known as money monger, promises the young to support his education. The waiter, who pretends to be very efficient and loyal to his hotel owner, intentionally indulges in dishonesty by obliging his friend with more food than what he pays off. There is an editor of a newspaper who exploits the needy ones. But, he pretends to be a social reformer. Mirza Ghalib, performed by Qavi Khan, is totally upset on whatever he comes across.
The play highlights the decline of Urdu language, nationalism, humanity, moral values and disintegrating social fabric. But, sermonise some very powerful slogans such as ‘when hunger lives, humanity dies’, ‘every revolution originates from poor’, and ‘everybody says step ahead but he is standstill’.
Except the two, Qavi Khan and Anwar Ali, all characters were performed by the new and young cast. But, all were best fit to their roles. It shows the hard work they have put in to synchronise the moves of the play to make it memorable one. Of course, it is the Qavi Khan who assembled the team of young artists and trained them to perform to the expectation of the audience and what was desired. The play also includes a performance on ghazal by Mirza Asad ullah Khan Ghalib. It is not that open as it should be. Of course, it may be precautionary for obvious reasons. After highlighting every evil in the society the play ends with ray of hope. The Drama Festival is also a ray of hope for the revival of serious theatre though it is too late but one should believe that it would continue.
Source: The Nation