July 29, 2017

Throughout the ages, playwrights have used theatre as a medium to convey ideas that challenge social norms and societal boundaries. Recently, a group of Karachi teens followed suit with a play that brought to life the issues that plague Pakistan namely, the clashes between people of varying socio-economic classes, women’s rights and most importantly, the restrictions imposed on the freedom to do what you want.

‘Aik Ghalti’ was written by Cedar College students Elsa Sajjad and Sara Fatima Ahmad, and follows Sabeeha Mudassir as she traces the events that led to her independence from the restrictions placed on her by her parents, and her inherent conditioning as a product of a conservative environment. Sabeeha’s tale recounts  her struggle to enter the fashion industry while faced with mounting pressure from her parents to settle down and get married. Though the subject matter is heavy, the writers chose to address it in a humouous manner leaning on elements of satire. Carefully constructed side narratives that featured characters of varying social statuses and backgrounds gave for a well-rounded perspective on Pakistani society.

The  cast and crew spoke about to Newsline about the creative process and the play’s production. Lead actress Rameen Saad said, “It wasan extremely enjoyable experience. It was really humbling, and we’re happy that it served such a worthy cause.” The play’s writer, Elsa Sajjad added, “We felt that in the country’s current landscape, a comment on the modern family’s dynamics would be appropriate.”

The show opened at PACC and ran for 2 days, over the 26th and 27th of July. It featured a cast of students from many of Karachi’s prominent schools i.e Bay View Academy, Karachi Grammar and the Cedar College.  Approximately 3 lakh rupees were raised in donations, to aid victims of acid attacks across the country.

The playwrights iterated that they are keen on addressing similar issues in the future, and hope that their work will continue to change mindsets.