Playwright:Faiz Ahmed Faiz
The Play & Director's Note
In 1941, Faiz Ahmed Faiz married an English woman, Alys George. They had two daughters - Saleema and Moneeza, whom they lovingly called Cheemie and Mizu. Alys, an intelligent, creative woman of great inner strength remained committed to Faiz. Many believe that without a companion like Alys, Faiz’s journey of poetry mightn’t have reached the worthy destination where it lies today.
Faiz and three others, including a woman, were arrested in the early hours of 9th of March 1951. And thus began one of the most extraordinary and disgraceful episodes in the history of our sub-continent. From 1951 to 1955, during Faiz’s imprisonment in Pakistan, Alys and Faiz exchanged letters. Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan is a performance based on these letters. The letters symbolize our hopes, our aspirations and embody our singing tomorrows. Reading them, one is convinced that cause endures, hope lingers, and that dreams shall not die. Within these letters, which were heavily censored, we discovered an engaging montage of trust, innocence, commitment and passion.
The performance has been designed with two actors who walk a fine line between enacting the emotions of Alys and Faiz, and yet, not acquiring the physical attributes of the two. The reading of these letters with elements of recitation, music and theatrical effects, lifts them out of their individually confined spaces into a fusion of each other’s worlds - one of creating and the other of nourishing. While Faiz created poems of ineffable beauty, Alys has lived poems all her life. Our quest came to a fulfilling end with these letters that present the couple as two equal hemispheres that create a world of the most treasured values that bind human beings together.
Salima Raza has been closely associated with theatre, radio and television for over 54 years. She has graced all these arenas as an actor, compere and director. A recipient of many Best Actress awards for her stage performances, Raza devotes her time to meaningful theatre activities. These are often related to social issues besides being of assistance to the disabled. Raza is passionate about reviving Urdu language and literature, and she ardently encourages today’s youth to do so. Salima has performed in Autobiography directed by Lillete Dubey ; and Char Chowghi, Chanakya, Erindira , Nati Binodini and Metropolis directed by Amal Allana. She directed Yadon Ki Barat, Main Kaun Hoon, Yeh Ishq Nahin Asan, Dil Musafir Hai, Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan, Ek Kutte Ki Kahaani and many more.
Born in 1911, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, a lecturer, journalist and editor of The Pakistan Times, was charged with complicity in the Rawalpindi conspiracy case and was condemned to four years of imprisonment in 1951 where he had a first-hand experience of the harsh realities of life. As a poet, Faiz began writing on the conventional themes of love and beauty, but soon these conventional themes got submerged in the larger social and political issues of the day where Faiz used his poetry to champion the cause of socialistic humanism.
Wings Cultural Society has been conceived with the idea of raising consciousness about social issues through meaningful theatre and cultural activities. It aims to spread awareness in society through exchange of ideas and by raising debates relevant to our times. It endeavors to perform socially relevant theatre and conduct workshops, seminars, debates and audio-visual shows as part of its effort to be involved in the ongoing social and intellectual churning.
Cast & Credits
Alys Faiz Salima Raza
Faiz Ahmed Faiz Banwari Taneja
Light Design Ranjan Basu
Music Execution Tarique Hameed
Co-ordinator Nazia Fatima, Rajguru Mohan
Playwright Alys Faiz, Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Design & Direction Salima Raza