BWW Review: PAKISTAN AUR ALZHEIMER'S A Unique Must Watch
Whether you belong to that generation that freshly saw the after effects of partition in India, chances are every Indian must have heard an account of the dark partition that engulfed the subcontinent back in the 40's.
But now comes a play that talks about this event that shaped the history of subcontinent on stage with humor and a whole lot of tact.
In Pakistan Aur Alzheimers' veteran actor Saleem Shah plays the role of a patient suffering from the illness. The monologue features Shah in a 90 minute tragi-comedy retelling the partition to a new audience with a new perspective.
What makes the portrayal both searing as well as important is that there is a satirical take over the turn of events as they unfold. the play has Saleem Shah as Ghazanfar Hussain recalling the trials, travesty and the events of partition. The illness that the narrator suffers from becomes the perfect antidote on the events as with his failing memory he is able to put many things in perspective. Things which lay beyond the common-sense understanding during the time of the events.
Watching events from a distance and with a different perspective, often opens news dimensions and understanding and the play masterfully does that. The fact that the makers chose a touch topic for re-evaluating and presentation calls for courage and Shah's enigmatic monologue adds to the idea behind the play.
The tale is touching the main narrator stays true to his idea of India. As partition happens all of his family travels to Pakistan but he stays put alone believing in his idea. As time passes by he recalls the events but his fragile memory makes his mix-up events
It is a great play to check out whether you love history or just because you may have read, heard or watched hundreds of tales of partition in the past. It will give a unique new dimension to your outlook and perhaps would show you humor in the tragedy.
The play was recently staged in Delhi at Alliance Francaise.