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KPC stages Kashmiri Pandit poetic play for the first time in Jammu

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Srinagar: Kashmir Performers Collective (KPC), a Kashmir based dynamic theatre group today staged one of its finest products “Arnimaal”: A story of 18th century Kashmiri Pandit lady and her intellectual confrontation of love and dejection through poetic genius for the first time in Jammu and was highly appreciated by the audience who enjoyed the Kashmiri Musical opera by Kashmiri Muslim artists at Abhinav Theatre where Sayed Basharat Bhukhari, minister for Horticulture, Govt of J&K was the Chief Guest on the occasion.

The Kashmiri play “Arnimaal” approved by Sangeet Natak Academy is written and directed by Manzoor Ahmed Mir and was well received by the huge audience and critics who appreciated the theme, script, acting, set and the direction of the play.

The play written and directed by renowned playwright, actor and director Manzoor Ahmed Mir under the banner Kashmir Performers Collective of which Mir also happens to be the president is one among the several theatre plays in Kashmiri from the kitty of KPC like Shehjhaar, Teli Kya Chare Chu, Wuni Ti Chini Chear Gomut, Mahrazz etc.

The story of “Arnimaal” is that of an 18th century Kashmiri Pandit lady and her intellectual confrontation of love and dejection through poetic genius in a most non-violent way. Her strength comes through the principle devotion and bhakti for which she undergoes all the pains, suffers humiliation from her in-laws and achieves final liberation through her suffering.

Arnimaal upholds the path of ultimate bliss through her poetic verses and inspires a generation utilizing the Kashmir Shaivite and Sufi confluence which is typical philosophical contribution of Kashmiris in the sub-continent.

Arnimaal was born in eighteenth century in a Kashmiri Pandit family at village Palhalan in Baramulla area of Kashmir Valley when the barbaric Afghan invaders were trampling Kashmir Valley.

Arnimaal was married to Munshi Bhawani Dass Kachroo, a respected person in Afghan Court. While the first few years of marriage were good, Kachroo soon fell into bad company and deserted Arnimaal inspite of her immense beauty, love and poetic acumen.

The young poetess did everything to attract her husband back and save the Kashmiri language learning royal etiquettes and music without any success and died at a young age of 41.

However during her desertion and unhappy married life like Lal Ded and Habba Khatoon, Arnimaal sang of love, beauty and sorrow and her poetry spoke of agony, dejection, pathos and disappointments.

Her poetry melts people’s hearts and one finds how much she loved her husband trying every way to get him back but failed. However her poetic contribution to Kashmiri language , art and culture is what has made her an icon among the vast lineage of Kashmiri intellectuals and poets that this land has produced.

The play depicts that pain as well as her contribution to literary world which was aptly brought out by the artists that performed and the excellence of the direction was very much visible throughout the play.

The characters who played on stage include Sanam Ziya as Arnimaal, Ulfat Haroon as Vess Rani, Showkat Magrey as Bhawani Dass, Shahzada Shabir, Narator1, Shafiya Maqbool, Narator2, Meenakshi Bhan as Dancer, and support cast Bharti Kaul, Shoki Lidhoo, Dazy Bazaz, Neeta Dhar, Rajni Bhatti,Puneet Bali, Himagini Moza, Preet Kaur, Mahdeesa Altaf, Vinay Sharma, Umer Qureshi, Anil Langeh, Ajay Kumar, Bashir Bagat and Gh Mohd Bagat.

The back stage was handled by Set Virji Sumbli, Pros, Gulzar Ahmed Dar, Make-up Yunis Ahmed, Costume Amina Bano, Play Back Singer, Shahi Mumtaz, Music Raja Bilal, Lights Pankaj Sharma, Sound, Lokesh, Stills Kamal Ganjoo, Video Hari, BG scores Tsewang Dorgee (Rishab), Stage Manager, Khursheed Ah Mir, Asst Director Shahzad Shabir, and Anchor Bindiya Raina Tickoo.

Kamal Krishan Ganjoo was also felicitated by the group on the occasion for his selfless photography of the cultural events while KPC expressed special thanks to the Vomedh Rangmanch team and its director Rohit Bhat for fully supporting the event.

KPC also expressed thanks to its media partners Earth News, a renowned newspaper of Jammu dedicated to positive journalism, Tamil Irshad & Current, Urdu newspapers of Kashmir and Kashmir Age.

Kashmir Performers Collective which was established in March 2011 by some young and dynamic theaterists aims to enrich the panorama of Kashmir theatre through experimentation has been toiling hard to keep the flame of original theatre alive by staging various meaningful plays in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere.

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