Rediscovering lost heritage through ‘Begum Jaan’


The National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) Repertory Theatre recently announced the schedule of its upcoming play titled ‘Begum Jaan’ during a press briefing and an introductory session held at NAPA’s premises. The play was written by Javed Siddiqui and directed by Anjum Ayaz.
Akbar Islam is associated with the project as the Associate Director, whereas Nimra Bucha, Naila Jafri and Ali Sheikh are going to demonstrate their skills as actors. Begum Jaan is a woman right out of the pages of ‘Umrao Jaan Ada’. We encounter her in the autumn of her life. A representative of the culture of a bygone era, she is a living commentary on the heritage that we have lost.
Begum Jaan lives a solitary life with her granddaughter, wrapped in a cocoon. Their seemingly tranquil lives are disturbed by the arrival of a young journalist who is looking for a room to rent. He discovers during the course of his conversation that Begum Jaan has been in correspondence with eminent men, including Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, and that all these letters are intact.
His curiosity is roused and he wants to have access to these precious letters for material gains. This triangle of Begum Jaan, her granddaughter and the ambitious journalist is reflective of the change the time has brought about in the culture of the Indian subcontinent. ‘Begum Jaan’ will be staged at the Karachi Arts Council theatre at 08:00 pm daily from June 3 to 13.