KARACHI - Once the banned play during a dictator's regime, has finally made way into the metropolis enlightening many with concept it bears. 'Burqavaganza', one of the short stories by Shahid Nadeem, was staged here at the Arts Council, the other day. A musical comedy, it explores burqa not only a dramatic attire, but also uses it as a metaphor. After all we don't just cover women in the all-covering burqas; we hide a lot more. We cover up the individual or collective ugliness under ideological or patriotic burqas. The primitive values system is hidden in the burqa of tribal culture and traditions. The beast of terror wears a spotless and noble shariati burqa. Who hides behind the police uniform or a doctor's gown? The feudal despot conveniently adorns a democratic burqa when needed. It is the story of young lovers who are determined to defy the hypocritical values of an ultra conservative society. Like all lovers they want to spend time together only to be interrupted and harassed by the moral police and the stick-wielding burqa brigade. The love blooms with the help of popular film songs and under various forms of burqas, while the word outside is falling apart because of the war on terror and a search for Burqa bin Batin. It is a world where lovers are persecuted and terrorists worshipped, where new technology is used to promote outdated and retrogressive ideas. Before, the play was staged the book's English translation was launched by Oxford University Press; Ameina Syed, Managing Director OUP said, "The book consists of seven beautifully written plays. Plays as a genre have only recently developed to be performed on stage in Karachi and Lahore and are sticking a poignant note on serious social issues of the city. Burqavaganza was banned in the days of Enlightened Moderation; it is highly ironical." Madeeha Gohar said, "Ajoka has been performing the world over. Shahid Nadeem has written much on women issues, from those in prison, to those facing trafficking to those exchanged for an ox in Thar Desert." Sheema Kirmani said, she got involved in plays since early childhood, and use to perform to amuse friends on their birthdays. But said, "Plays today deal with life concerning us. We attain a self of collective identity. There is something in the performing arts. Our audience must not only hear but also feel triumphs of a liberator. Interestingly, liberation is antithesis to military dictatorship norms, which leads to questioning, which leads to social change. Political Theater is a difficult thing, al together." Lastly Shahid Nadeem took to the stage and introduced his play and was of the view that people, who have a desire to live, enjoy theatre. Khalid Ahmad came on stage and read a few excerpts from 'Bulha'. The other three plays to be performed by Ajoka this month are 'Bulha' on the life of Bulha Shah' 'Hotel Moenjodaro' by Ghulam Abbas and 'Insha kay intizar main' a pun on Samuel Beckett's work 'Waiting for Godot'.