Napa stages tale of separation, endless wait and longing for reunion

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The ‘Sur Samundi’ in ‘Shah Jo Risalo’, poetic compilation of Sindh’s most famous and revered poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, depicts lives of Vanjaras — sailors who go to sea — and Vanjariyans — womenfolk who spend their lives yearning for their return. It’s a tale of separation, endless wait and longing for reunion.

Napa stages tale of separation, endless wait and longing for reunionBhittai portrays a gamut of emotions women experience as their loved ones set sail despite their entreaties and they endure long, painful separation.

He depicts how they spend days standing at the door with their eyes cast on the path in hope of their return, kindling floating lights at the shore, making wishes by tying tufts to trees, and praying day and night for their homecoming.Varied colours of the Sur Samundi were brought to life at a play staged at the Zia Mohyeddin Auditorium of the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa).

The play was penned and directed by Shahnawaz Bhatti.It was arguably a perfect time to put on the show. Winter is approaching and cold breeze from the north would start blowing in a matter of weeks. Back in the yore days the poetry is set in, it was time when seafarers, Vanjaras, would return to their abode after voyaging across seas in search of pearls and for trade.It was arguably a perfect time to put on the show. Winter is approaching and cold breeze from the north would start blowing in a matter of weeks. Back in the yore days the poetry is set in, it was time when seafarers, Vanjaras, would return to their abode after voyaging across seas in search of pearls and for trade.Sar nisrya paand, utar laga, aao pireen! / Moon tu karer kandh sahseen sukhaon kayun. (The grasses are in full bloom, the north wind blows, come to me beloved! / I have made uncountable wishes for your return). The couplet tells us that the winter season has arrived but not the woman’s lover.

 

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