Rajneesh Gupta’s Dogri play highlights tragedy of Indo-Pak partition

Lalit Gupta

A scene from the play ‘Shah Shahni’. -Excelsior/Rakesh
A scene from the play ‘Shah Shahni’. -Excelsior/Rakesh

JAMMU, Mar 15: Written by Rajneesh Gupta the Dogri play Shah Shahni presented by Sangam Tru Art Production, performed in the ongoing annual drama festival, here today, emerged as another noticeable addition in the corpus of creative dramatic depictions inspired by Indo-Pak partition and the associated bloody riots and human tragedies.
Directed by Pradeep Sharma, the play about two child hood lovers, the Muslim boy, Shah, and a Hindu girl, Shahni, who get separated when Shah’s family moves to Pakistan. With opening of Karvan-e-Aman bus service, Shah, now an old man comes to visit his native village in Jammu and accidently meets Shahni on a Halwai shop. Shahni takes Shah to her ancestral home and tells him that she is married and has grandchildren. Shah also tells her about his marriage and a big family including grandchildren.
Both reminiscence about childhood days full of fun and frolic and certain events that speak of a strong bond of attraction that existed between innocent lovers who were separated due to holocaust of Partition. In course of play, it is revealed that both had told lies to each other and in fact due to intense feeling for each other, none of them had married. The play ends with a sad note, when lovers who meet after more than sixty years, are destined to get separated once again.
Pradeep Sharma as Shah and Rajni Bhatti as Shahni, came out as diligent and dedicated actors who successfully maintained the tone and voice control, body movements befitting characters of old man and women. Especially impressive was the manner in which both lead actors through their subtle body language and facial expressions filled the silent space between the dialogues with varied emotions.
Other members of the cast included Anuroop Pathania, Pooja Devi, Sheel Singh Manhas, Ankush Padha and Sandeep Sharma.
Tomorrow, Punjabi play Fasley will be performed by Manoranjan Kala Kendra.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here