With mere days to the premiere of the final part of playwright Anwar Maqsood’s theatrical trilogy, Saadhay 14 August, Kopykats Production has released another promo to reel fans in. It features Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Indian Congress leader Mahatma Gandhi defining their reasons for vouching for Partition.
On Monday, they dropped the teaser captioned, “‘Those who were left behind are in misery. Those who were uprooted are in misery.’ Anwar Maqsood’s Saadhay 14 August, directed by Dawar Mehmood, premiering at Karachi Arts Council August 14.”
The short clip featured voiceovers from three different parties — the British, Jinnah and Gandhi — and what looked like a drop of blood that fell on the ground every time one party would pitch in their ideas. The British representative addressed the “members of the constituent assembly” and said he has a “message from the king”. Jinnah said, “We want the division of India into Hindustan and Pakistan because that is the only practical solution.” And calling himself a soldier of peace, Gandhi said, “It is complete independence that we want.”
When they’re done speaking, the three red drops amalgamate and elongate, rushing forward across land. The voices in the background pick up and the discussion turns into an argument which distorts into pained screams as the red line (made from the drops) ends up becoming the border between Pakistan and India. The camera zooms out on a mapped version of the two separate states as the narrator says, “Hindu India and Muslim India must be separated.”
The theatrical trilogy was initiated 10 years ago by the playwright. The series started off with Pawnay Chauda August, a play that had been hugely successful, running to full houses and bringing back the trend of visiting the theatre. Sawa Chauda August was the second instalment, also winning extensive critical and commercial acclaim.
As we know, there will be no 14 August play. The Aangan Terha writer told Images why: “I won’t be writing that because to my mind, Pakistan hasn’t yet seen a chauda August worth celebrating.”
Disclosing details about the final theatrical piece, he had said, “In the play a man files a case against Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Gandhi as to who is responsible for the decline of a huge state such as India — three countries were made out of it. Then they’re asked to go to four cities to find out who’s responsible. They cities are: Kashmir, Lahore, Delhi and London. So the play is divided into four parts. First the Quaid and Gandhi go to Kashmir, then Lahore, Delhi and London.”
Producer of the play Salman Hussain and director Mehmood said, “We are very excited for it. It’ll happen immediately after Eid. The drama will run in Karachi for two months. After that it will travel to Islamabad and Lahore.”