The HC Rai ArtFest concluded on a high note as to mark the celebrations a theatrical adaptation of Saadat Hasan Manto’s story Shaheed – Saaz, a hilarious satire on human greed, was staged in Gothic Theatre in the evening, here today. The story was about the post partition era when people were swayed with the idea of sacrifice and martyrdom even as they struggled to adapt to a new national identity. The immense loss of life and property resulted in poor migrants living at the mercy of charity, and yet few shrewd businessmen profited from this, painting their profiteering with the colours of supreme sacrifice and martyrdom.

Produced by Maya Rao and directed by Narendra Sachar, performers Sanjeev Mehta and Sachar brought the characters alive on stage as they gave a great performance. Connecting and engaging with the audience, creating a nice tempo and being in character even when lights faded was perfectly executed. Mehta won hearts with his performance as he skillfully portrayed the character of Manto and then a commoner who was an unwilling participant to die and become a martyr. The nice comical touch with the simplicity of props coupled with incredible effects and performances left the audience mesmerized. However, the backstage voiceover needed much improvement as one really had to strain to listen to the dialogues.

Story Brief

Set in 1948, the story is about the journey of a Punjabi migrant from Kathiawad, Gujarat in India to Lahore in Pakistan. Belonging to the class of ‘baniyas’ the man, who had a successful business of cocaine in Kathiawad, travels to Pakistan in search of setting up a new big business in his newly formed homeland. Working hard to build his empire and multiply his wealth, he is suddenly struck by a misplaced angst that he had neglected doing any charitable work since his arrival. He starts searching for that one charitable act which will earn him his place in heaven. But nothing seems worthy of his benevolence as he travels through the length and breadth of the city and shares his experiences after interacting with people of all types and classes.

Previous articleHimachal Pradesh’s Shahpur Witnesses ₹76.57 Crore Development Transformation
Next articleHP Daily News Bulletin 23/10/2023


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here