Drama programme most aptly named
The year 2019 has opened with Napa’s Laughter Fest, an 11-day programme of plays that are supposed to send audiences into chuckles. The programme has been most aptly named for laughter is the key word of the programme.
The programme opened with a hilarious Urdu play, Hai Muhabbat, on Thursday evening. There was hardly a moment when the audiences did not go into chuckles. It is a tale of the quirks of ageing and the whims that go with it.
Kashi, who is 40, which chronologically, is the onset of middle age, still fancies himself as an eligible bachelor, and still hopes to find the love of his life, the Mrs Right, so to say.
He sets out to realise this romantic vision and goes in for a blind date by ringing up a random telephone number. The telephone call is received at the other end by a young woman, Neelofer, who also is heading for her sunset years.
At first, she dons a garb of modesty and tries to reprimand Kashi for making the “obnoxious” call, but soon her modesty turns out to be a veneer as she also begins to respond to his professions of admiration the same way. A telephonic conversation that should have finished within a few minutes turns out to be a really prolonged one with the two strangers, who haven’t really seen each other, deriving thrills from their romantic conversation.
Kashi, absolutely conscious of the fact that he’s getting on in years, tries to probe Neelofer’s age. She has a dig at that and finally says, “I am a thirty-four-year-old Alia Bhatt”, meaning that she’s Alia Bhatt’s look-alike. The conversation is loaded with the most pungent and humorous of witticisms and leaves the audiences giggling.
At last the blind date materialises and they meet at a hotel but the fact that Neelofer is accompanied by an older woman puts Kashi of while Neelofer remains enthusiastic. After this, Kashi’s interest seems to be on the wane but like all formula plays, there’s a happy ending to the story.
The whole dialogue between the two, from beginning to end, is loaded with the most humorous and witty of retorts. Kudos to Uzma Sabeen, the director of the play, who has made the play a pack of humour and leaves the viewers giggling.
Zarqa Naz as Neelofer fulfills her role in the most adroit of manner, as does Samhan Ghazi as Kashif.