0092 - The State of Arrears of Pakistan | Karachi
There is a price for everything in this world – no doubt, but it has always been up to us to decide whether we want to pay that price. It’s a fact. Yet we suffer at the hands of our own ignorance, our complacence, our ineptitude ….? Oh wait we have control over all of those, so what’s the problem again? 0092 tells us a story that sadly 99% of our population can relate to if not completely then at least on some level. On the 1st March, 2013; the media night was in full swing for the play 0092. The play is written and directed by Abdullah Farhatullah, a man who has a versatile collection of knowledge owing to his education and many interests, kicked off the evening by speaking enthusiastically about the efforts of his actors, and overall work that went into the whole project. The most thought-provoking statement he gave before he left the stage was that; once the play is over and the audience leaves we should ask ourselves which character we are from all of those on-stage in the play.
The curtain is raised on an upper-middle class household with a father: Shahbaz Uncle (played by Waseem Dhamia) waiting for his US-citizen nephew and getting his wife: Farkhunda Aunty (Rabia Leghari) and daughter: Saleema (Fatima Shah) ready to greet his future son-in-law. One of the most rampant consensuses in Pakistan is if you can go to the US; you’re life is made! The father in this play is no stranger to this ideology and is hell bent on marrying his daughter to his nephew, wouldn’t let his own son: Amir (Zubair A. Khan) study acting, and many other rules in the house which have been implemented, just because he says so.
Shehryar Ali, the nephew’s character played by Ahmed Ali has come to Pakistan to make a report on the pre-poll situation and is more inclined towards hearing what people have to say but, gets to hear more from power-smitten politicians, a favor-swindling S.H.O., an over-zealous political rally motivator and many more. There was help given to Shehryar since the beginning of his mission by Saba (Syed Mashaal), the blogger from Lahore who values his efforts of social mobilization; and then some help he earns in the form of respect as the play builds minute by minute. Although this play showcases serious issues and emphasizes revolutionary actions but to make light of it is only possible through smartly placed comedy tid-bits performed wonderfully by the Baloch house servant: Khadim (Hunain Maniar).
Let’s just say the play 0092 is meant to shake us out of our comfort zone or just make us wonder what exactly is the reason we are afraid of leaving our houses at night after a certain time; why we don’t trust our police officers; why corruption is the norm, why do we agree to move forward like this? The entire FTC auditorium was buzzing with activity and all this credit would also be handed out to the producers Usama Qazi who has a zest for performing arts and is the CEO of Lush; a company which strives to bring forward Talent Management and Corporate Event Management. Also Shahzad Qureshi COO of APNA FM 107 and a sought after theatre producer can be given the credit for 0092 and bringing forward more reasons for Karachi to get out of their houses other than eating and going to the movies.
The play runs till the 22nd March 2013 and it was a good idea for someone to put some of our nation’s suppressed fears in words with tact. I know I didn’t want to get up from my seat and save the world after I watched the play, but I truly want to use the powers I possess for the greater good.