Monday, November 3, 2008
Nawab Sahib Qibla
Nawab Sahib Qibla, a play in the ongoing Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival is a humorous take on the decadent turns life takes. A presentation from the Rafi Theatre Production from Lahore the play managed to be both funny and thought provoking at the same time. With the Duration of a little over an hour the Play is aimed primarily at reviving the interest in theatre in Hyderabad. Presented in Urdu, it managed to elicit an eclectic mix of audience of both the connoisseurs of theatre and Plebeian youngsters experimenting with a very interesting (albeit dying) art form. The Play traces the journey of Nawab Sahib Qibla who falls onto bad times owing to his reckless spending and his trysts with women of ill repute. When he has to resort to selling his ancestral House and property he is amazed to know that the buyer is none other than his loyal Servant of umpteen years, Rehman(played by a slick and extremely convincing Usmaan Peerzada) who ends up not only as the master of the property but also manages to steal the girl the Nawab has eyes for! The Play written in the 1940’s is designed to be a comedy of manners. The simple set manages to successfully recreate the lost age of Nawabs complete with their love for repose and requiescence, the leisure of long evening talks, the music from the gramophone records complete with a hookah and a paan-daan!! The play is a wonderfully witted social satire on the ways and follies of the Rich. A scene which succinctly explains this fact is when the Nawab is asked to take up some work by his Lawyer to substantiate his mearge earnings, the Nawab responds by saying “ Koi Kaam Nahi”, an attitude which speaks volumes about the laid back lifestyle of the Nawabs.(Something which us Hyderbadis can instantly relate to as we are the true inheritors of the Nizami-Nawab Culture). Muhammad Qavi Khan, an eminent Pakistani Theatre artist brings to life the Character of the Nawab, a man who has lost all his fortune but seeks to ward off the impending crisis by selling off the last remaining dregs of his ancestral Property. With his subtle acting overtones and delightful comic timing he delivers a flawlessly refined performance. The high point of the play comes right at the end when the role reversal of the Master and Servant is shown ironically in the Salaam which the Nawab gives his Servant who is the New Owner of His House!Times do change fast and how!! The only sore point was the continuous ringing of mobile phones,which did manage to irritate a few and infuriate the other few! All in all a refreshing Concept which adds a new dimension to a genre called sophisticated comedy!