Karachi is forgiving, it is beautiful and chaotic, it is home
The city of lights: Karachi.
Karachi has always been seen as the land of opportunity, the city where dreams come true. Many claim that it is the Dubai of Pakistan; Karachi is where people come with hope and promise, looking for a brighter future. It is a city of contradictions; it’s a blend of cultures, it’s sunrises over Sea View, nights reined by terror, it is so many things all at once. But I didn’t know that until recently.
For many people, Karachi is solely represented by the sea. They don’t see the city for all that it has to offer, and I can’t blame them because I didn’t realise that until I watched the contemporary dance drama, Conversations 2016 – a love letter to Karachi, at the FTC Auditorium.
Directed by Joshinder Chaggar and Sunil Shankar, Love Letter to Karachi is a visual treat. It is backed by an interesting and captivating score by Ahsan Bari. The play displays various elements ranging from Karachi’s culture, lifestyle, residents, media, political and security conditions along with many others issues. The play starts with a narration that defines the current state of Karachi and what follows is a representation of what many people in Karachi have faced at some point in their lives.
This is what makes the play stand out.
It shows a reality that is tangible, and relatable. It depicts the youth playing their favourite sports, people enjoying their nights out at a fashion show, crowded streets, and biking. After a while into the play, a dramatic shift takes place, where the situation turns chaotic, creating a certain tense situation for adolescents.
Love Letter to Karachi showcases a multidimensional view of Karachi – from the misleading nature of some of its citizens, to the love and support many share for their community – the play goes far in illustrating the layered truths of our diverse city.
The play also highlights how the media controls the mindset of commoners and how day to day problems (for instance the lack of electricity), add to the suffering of the locals. Furthermore, it represents Karachi as a cultural hub, with locals who lead selfless lives full of love and harmony. It is a beautiful representation of how an outsider can develop his/her personality, likes and styles, and the way Karachi embraces everyone that comes to seek shelter within it. Yes, there are adversities, and the cons tend to outweigh the pros, but still Karachi never fails to surprise its residents. Karachi restarts every morning. It gives its people a second chance, as all the hate, conflict is washed away like the waves of sea view draw back the sand every morning – rejuvenating our hopes.
A special shout-out to the choreography, execution, music and lighting; it makes this stage play worthwhile. It’s classy, artsy and oozes relevance. All the cast members are extremely impressive in their respective roles. Kudos to Shankar and Chagger for displaying such a realistic visual extravaganza for Karachi and Karachiites.
The show is on till August 14, 2016 at the FTC Auditorium, I would definitely recommend it everyone; go and watch it, but only if you appreciate a class-act. By the way, it’s extremely fast paced, therefore it does requires the audience to be focused and involved throughout the play.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.