Wept several times while writing script
KARACHI: Just imagine what would happen if the souls of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, along with the poet of East Allama Iqbal and freedom movement leader Maulana Shaukat Ali came to Pakistan from heavens to see the fruits of their struggle and sacrifices.
Couldn’t imagine? Doesn’t matter. Renowned intellectual, poke poet and prows writer, host and scriptwriter Anwar Maqsood has not only imaged this but also presented it in the form of a short heart touching stage play entitled ‘PAWNAY 14 August’.
The play, presented by KOPYKATS productions, directed by Dawer Mehmood with the assistance of Sher Ali Minallah and jointly produced by Mujtaba Ali and Dawer Mehmood, was staged on Saturday evening at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi auditorium.
As per the story of play, souls of three leaders came to Pakistan on August 11 to visit the country that came into being as a result of their tireless efforts. They were expecting Pakistan to have become an Islamic welfare state, where masses would dwell peacefully, having freedom to act upon their religion and values and working for the progress of the nation and the country. But they were disappointed and their dreams were shattered when they visited Karachi and came to know that the country had suffered around half span of its history from marshal laws, half of its part had been apart and the rest of country was facing poverty, hunger, gloomy shadows of high risks to democracy and integrity. Besides, corruption of all kinds, including moral, had also occupied the entire country.
The play kicks off through a scene dated August 15, 2012, from the waiting lounge of the Karachi airport, where the three leaders were waiting for conformation of their seats in the national carrier, Pakistan International Airline, to the capital Islamabad.
Waiting for conformation of their seats in the flight, they were talking about the ongoing situation of the country, where not a single person even recognised them during their visit. They were astonished to see the lifestyle, mental approach and views of the representatives of various communities including students, politicians and artists.
Maqsood in his particular bold style not only poked all the political parties, politicians, artists, and institutions including army but also attempted to raise question marks in the minds of audience, inviting them to think for joint efforts and playing their individual role for the betterment of the society and bring back the lost glory of the nation.
All the characters of the drama did full justice to their respective roles, particularly the often announcement of a PIA announcer Sana brought life in the presentation of the drama, besides providing opportunities for audience to laugh out loud.
The drama concluded at a scene, when a six-year child Asad Saad proved through his innocent views and doings that the upcoming generations of the country have enough potential to lead the country and the nation to their true destination.
A mind provoking aspect of the drama was that besides promoting entertainment, the drama also dealt with very acute burning issues of the society and the country, however in a very light and humorous manner, which is the beauty and significance of Maqsood’s writings.
Prior to the commencement of the drama, Maqsood delivered an emotional speech, describing his feelings about his country and the wounds of his hearts pertinent to the fall of Dhaka and ongoing issues of the country. On the occasion, he also shared his remembrance and experience of migration to Pakistan, after which the head of his family chose to live in a tent, instead of dwelling in the house of others.
Later, while talking to Daily Times, he said that it was the first stage play he ever wrote in the entire span of his profession. He said that it was also a unique play, which was being considered as a comedy play, but he wept several times, while writing the script. He said that ongoing situation of the country pursed and compelled him to write the play.
Only 23-year-old, director of the play, Dawer Mahmood told Daily Times that it was the most difficult play he ever directed, despite the fact that he was directing stage dramas since the age of 14, when he was a school-going children.
Sharing his personal experience, he said that he came to Karachi just to shake a hand with Maqsood. He said that he found Maqsood a very polite, cooperating and guiding personality. He said, “Once upon a day, I requested Maqsood to write something for him. In response, Maqsood closed his eyes for a while put his head back and replied calmly after a while that Maqsood would write a stage drama for him and himself occasionally suggested a name ‘PAWNAY 14 August’ for the drama.
He thanked BrandStirr CEO Rahim Merchant for his overwhelming support and patronage to theatre and said that without his support it was very difficult to stage such a play.