Hyderabad, March 15th, 2019 : As part of the annual Urdu Theatre Festival, Jashn-e-Darpan, hosted by Darpan Theatre in association with the Dept. Of Language & Culture, Govt. Of Telangana, an Urdu play of Ismat Chughtai, CHAUTHI KA JODA was presented on Thursday at Ravindra Bharathi. Capt SN Ahmed enacted the role of Manto and Seema Khan played the role of Ismat, in the play Ismat Chughtai. The play was written by Suhas Bhatnagar and directed by Ali Ahmed.
Every year one Urdu writer is picked up and present their stories in form of a play at the Festival. This year it is dedicated to Ismat Chughtai, the fierce lady who was much ahead of her times. Last year the offering was for Saadat Hasan Manto.
The evening began with a conversation between Ismat Chughtai and Manto. A lighthearted banter between friends, leg pulling and mutual appreciation was part of the act called CUHALBAAZIYAAN. Both the actors Seema Khan and Capt Ahmed enact the play like a breeze on stage. Their dialog more like a friendly chant enchanted the audience and the audience too became a part of their chuhalbaaziyaan.
The tragic story, Chauthi ka Joda, critics the hypocrisy of the superstitions and customs maintained by society. It revolves around a widow, Bi amma, who lives in near-penury with her two young daughters, Kubra and Hamidah. The story focuses on Bi amma’s obsession to get Kubra married off as soon as possible, and the terrible outcome of Bi amma’s urgent and desperate attempts to get her married. BI amma’s obsession for marrying off Kubra is in full light when her brother’s son, Rahat finally comes to live with them.
The artist Capt Ahmed has been doing Manto since the first play of Manto ke Afsaaney and this year too he nailed his character of Manto. He showcased how Manto would have been when he was not sulking or drinking to avoid situations. Seema Khan as Ismat complemented Capt Ahmed and the chemistry was well received by the audience. Other than playing Manto, Capt Ahmed is also seen as Nawab saahab in Lihaaf. Nawab saahab was just a passing reference in Lihaaf by Ismat Chughtai, but seeing the potential, Ali Ahmed the director etched out the character of Nawab. Lihaaf is being experimented as a musical where the characters are singing live on stage. Qawwali, Romantic, Pain…, all expressed live through songs and live musicians.
The show celebrated the writer Ismat Chughtai, who is an epitome of women empowerment in literary writing, the Grand Doyenne of Urdu fiction and the woman icon who fought for the Freedom of Speech. Chughtai is considered as, one of the four pillars of modern Urdu short story. Also, she remained an important literary voice almost until her last days. Her work fits into no pre-conceived. Her bold protagonists stood out from the ordinary, her outspoken approach jolted regressive minds, her rebellious themes raised many eyebrows and all of her writings reflected these complexities in lengths. Chughtai established herself as a significant woman literary voice in 20th century and was awarded with the Padma Shri in 1976.