By Kabir Altaf
As the lights come up at the beginning of "A Tryst with Destiny", a screen projects news footage of communal riots in India. We see clips from the 2002 carnage in Gujarat, protests in Indian-administered Kashmir, and an interview with Jaswant Singh in which he lays the major responsibility for the Partition of British India on Nehru and the Indian National Congress. As these news clips fade out, Gandhi and Nehru step on stage and begin discussing their roles in Partition. From the outset, the play asks the audience to reflect on the question: Was the Partition of India worth the bloodshed that accompanied it? What price did India have to pay for Independence?
"A Tryst with Destiny", performed at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre in Washington DC, was written by Amita Deepak Jha, a locally-based psychiatrist and medical researcher.
By Ishtiaq Ahmed
I am a long-time resident in Sweden where I have been living since September 1973. When the initial euphoria of living in a new place subsided and life assumed some sort of normality, it began to dawn upon me that I shared the distinction of longing for a very special place on earth which has a global following: Lahore, the city of my birth. It does not matter if the decision to leave was economic or political, voluntary or under duress and threat. For most old residents of this city, sooner or later, Lahore comes back in their lives as the centrepiece of a personal pride. The mystique of Lahore is special and grows on one with every passing year.
In Stockholm, a core Lahore connection has served as the basis of a continuous monthly rotating all-evening social get-together since 1991. It began on every Friday at six o’clock in the evening, but has now changed to Sunday afternoons.