ANHI MAI DA SUFNA

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Chandigarh

23 March 2017

DIVYA AZAD

Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi in collaboration with Azoka Theatre Lahore presented a Pakistani play “ANHI MAI DA SUFNA” at Randhawa Auditorium, Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, Chandigarh. This play is written by Shahid Nadeem and directed by Usha Ganguly of Kolkata and presenter of this play is Madeeha Gauhar Sh. Kewal Dhaliwal said that we are trying to bring the people of both countries close through such activities. Er. Surinder Singh Virdi, Vice Chairman, Punjab Arts Council, Dr. Sarabjit Kaur Sohal, President, Punjab Sahit Akademi and Sh. Pritam Singh Rupal, Secretary, Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi were also present on this occassion and Er. Surinder Singh Virdi, Vice Chairman, Punjab Arts Council, presented the hohours to Artists of Play.The story of the play is as under:

A Blind Old Woman’s Dream (“Anhi Mai Da Sufna) is inspired by some true stories of the generation dislocated and tormented by the devastating events during the Partition of 1947. It is a story of shattered dreams and traumatic nightmares but also of the resilience of the human spirit. . The play is set after the 1971 Indo-Pak war when relations between the two countries were almost suspended. Mai Janki who now lives in Amritsar is old, weak and blind but cannot forget her native village across the border in Pakistan. She is determined to visit her Prem Nagar regardless of the closure of the Indo­-Pak borders and visa problems. She is so adamant that her family finds an ingenious way of fulfilling Mai Janki’s dream. And then there is UstadRanguRangsaaz (the dyer) of Rang Mahal who refused to leave his beloved Lahore at the time of partition but now wants to attend his grand­daughter’s wedding in Amritsar. He cannot travel to India but there is no restriction on his dreams of reuniting with his family. The dreams and the real or imagined journeys of the blind woman and the old rangsaaz are the basis of “Anhi Mai Da Sufna”.

They are the stories of the dreams of the peoples of South Asia, who have unbreakable cultural, historical and emotional bonds and are determined to overcome the hurdles created by the vested interests of their governments.

The focus in the play is on the anguish and tribulations of the people of the Punjab who suffered more than any other community because of the partition of India. The scale of the mass migration, the ghastly bloodshed, large scale rape and abduction of women and loot & plunder which took place in the Punjab was unprecedented. At a personal level, the play is a tribute to the hopes and desires of the common people and their dreams of living a life of freedom, peace and happiness. The play celebrates the undying human spirit and its ability to bounce back from setbacks and find joy and hope in the face of hopelessness and despair. That is indeed reflected in the way the story of Anhi Mai andRanguRangsaaz is told in an entertaining and joyous style, interwoven with inspirational and delightful songs.

Anhi Mai Da Sufnais dedicated to all those who could never return to their homeland in both India and Pakistan, many of whom are no longer alive and who left this world with their dreams of going back home remaining unfulfilled.

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