Waiting Room

In Pakistan,Zulekha and Karimuddin are waiting for the arrival of Insha.

Written by Dipanita Nath | Published: January 16, 2012 3:38 am

In Insha ka Intezaar,a Pakistani adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot,a country tired of frequent military rules awaits change

In Pakistan,Zulekha and Karimuddin are waiting for the arrival of Insha. Just like Vladimir and Estragon have been since the 1950s,when Samuel Beckett wrote the absurdist play revolving around these protagonists,Waiting for Godot. Directed by Anwer Jafri,Insha Ka Intezaar will be staged on January 18 during the 14th Bharat Rang Mahotsav,the ongoing theatre festival of the National School of Drama in Delhi.

“The play has been staged all over the world in times of crisis,including during the Bosnian war. In Pakistan,there’s constant turmoil and people are waiting for a revolution or a movement,anything that spells change,” says actor Sheema Kermani,who plays Zulekha,the counterpart of Vladimir.

Unlike Beckett’s original which has no female characters,the Urdu play has three women protagonists,giving the narrative of oppression an added gender-specific dimension. “Zulekha and Karimuddin fight and argue,but are also fond of each other. This creates a dynamic relationship,different from that of two men waiting,” explains Kermani.

Insha is a derivative of Insha’allah (God willing),and Zulekha and Karimuddin have been waiting for him for 64 years. As they watch the horizon for signs of Insha,they talk about life,death and suicide,often hurling insults like “Dengue mosquito” at each other.

Insha never arrives,but Mansha does,who symbolises frequent military dictatorships. Zulekha and Karimuddin,however,don’t give up,they are still waiting for Insha.

Insha ka Intezaar will be staged at LTG auditorium in Mandi House on January 18. Time: 6.30 pm.

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