On 19 September, Ajoka’spresented its second play at the Karachi Festival in Karachi. Written by Shahid Nadeem, the cast included Usman Raj, MohammadQaiser, Usman Zia, Kamran Mujahid, Bilal Mughal, Shahzad Sadiq, Rizwan Riaz, Haifa Embreen, Usman Chaudhry, Nyle Imtiaz and Uzma Hasan.
The play, originally by (late) Madeeha Gauhar, was first produced in 2012 on the occasion of Saadat Hasan Manto’s 100th birthday.
The play begins with Manto’s journey from India to Pakistan. His impressions of the horrific communal riots are reflected in his various writings on Partition.The play covers his stories ‘Khuda Ki Qasam’, ‘Khol Dou’, ‘KalSaweray Jo Aankh Meri Khuli’, ‘Licence’, ‘Uncle Sam Ko Khat’, ‘Thanda Gosht’ and ‘Toba’. It ends with Majeed Amjad’s powerful poetic tribute to Manto titled ‘Kaun Hai Yeh Gustaakh’.
Karachi Arts Council President Muhammad Ahmed Shah while paying tribute to Ajoka and Shahid Nadeem,said: “S, with his team, to promiote progressive theatre. ahid Nadeem’s is one of the bgreats of Pakistani theatre. He has worked tirelessly fWe’re presenting a tribute to our people, trying to include the greats. Today’s play is the result of Shahid Nadeem’s tireless work. People like him are our real heroes.”
In recognition of his services, Nadeem was presented with a shield by Mr Ahmad Shah. Shahid Nadeem congratulated Karachi Arts Council for a landmark theatre festival and said: “Ahmed Shah is a cultural magician, creating such extraordinary opportunities for the promotion of the arts.”