LAHORE: Ajoka Theatre’s four-day festival to commemorate 32th anniversary at Alhamra Hall II continues. On the second day Ajoka Theatre presented Lo Phir Basant Aye.   

The festival presented plays relating to history and historical characters. On second day, Lo Phir Basant Aye, a play based on political satire highlighted ban on kite-flying festival by the government. The festival has now been abandoned. The play beautifully presents the fact that kite flying was part of local culture and how it was systematically stopped and people deprived of moments of joy and celebrations.  

The first play to be staged in the festival was “Kaun Hai Gustakh”. It was based on the life and works of writer short-story writer Saadat Hassan Manto. All the plays had been written by Shahid Nadeem and were directed by Madeeha Gauhar. The cast included Usman Raaj, Uzma Kharal, Kamran Mujahid, Qaiser Ali , Sohail Tariq and Shehzad Sadiq.

Other plays being presented included “Lo Phir Basant Ayee” today, “Anhi Mai Da Sufna” will be staged on Wednesday and “Kabira Khara Bazaar Main” on May 19, the last day of festival. All plays addressed issues relating to cultural identity and heritage projecting the message of peace, tolerance and religious harmony.

On the occasion, Shahid Mehmood of Ajoka Theatre said that Ajoka theatre started its journey with a small group of volunteers under strict martial law with the play ''Jaloos'' and in last 32 years they had produced 50 to 55 originals plays and have represented Pakistan theatrically all over the world.

“We got applauded from every segment of society especially from India, UK and USA. It is a time of celebration for Ajoka who has come across the long journey of 32 years”, he said.

“Ajoka started its journey on May 1984 during General Zia ul Haq’s military rule from a house lawn with a small group of cultural activists. It has been part of the struggle for a secular, democratic just humane and enlighten Pakistan for the last few decades we have now become an internationally acclaimed theatre group”, Shahid Nadeem said.