It is absolutely a significant cultural landmark in Pakistan. Ajoka has decided to stage a play on a personality that has been neglected by India and Pakistan. His views and role in history challenges the myths of Indian and Pakistani nationalism and confronts religious militancy rampant in the two countries. Had Dara – the visionary, sage and believer in humanism – lived, we may have avoided blood, carnage and violence that defines South Asia of today. Those interested to explore the hidden history, removed from textbook propaganda must watch this play. The venue and timings can be found at the end of this post. Now the formal introduction to the play:

Dara – A play on the life and times of Mughal prince Dara Shikoh

Ajoka’s new play “Dara” is about the less-known but extremely dramatic and moving story of Dara Shikoh, eldest son of Emperor Shahjahan, who was imprisoned and executed by his younger brother Aurangzeb. Dara was not only a crown prince but also a poet, a painter and a Sufi. He wanted to build on the vision of Akbar the Great and bring the ruling Muslim elite closer to the local religions. His search for the Truth and shared teachings of all major religions is reflected in his scholarly works such as Sakeena-tul-Aulia, Safina-tul-Aulia and Majma-ul-Bahrain. The play also explores the existential conflict between Dara the crown prince, and Dara the Sufi and the poet.

The violent and devastating struggle between brothers Dara and Aurangzeb, the decisive role played by their sisters Jahan Ara and Roshan Ara, the spiritual challenge posed by the naked sufi Sarmad to the authority of the muftis and qazis of the Empire and the growing discontent among the masses are elements which make “Dara” a gripping and powerful play. And of course like all Ajoka’s plays DARA has a very relevant message for our contemporary times.

Dara has been written and directed by Shahid Nadeem and includes live qawwalis and songs based on the lyrics of Amir Khusrau, Sarmad and Dara.

For further Information & passes:-
Ajoka: 92-42-36682443, 36686634 / Alhamra: 92-42-99200917, 99200918
Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 7:00pm

Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 9:00pm

Location: Hall #2, Alhamra The Mall, Lahore