There are some forms of art we simply look at, some we listen to and some that make us ponder. There may be some we may just be so immersed in, only to realise that, for a few minutes we become a part of it, in all senses, a part of the dynamics of the picture. That is what came to be, seconds after we seated ourselves, ready for the play “Bol Kay Labb Azaad Hain Teray’ at Alhamra. The lights went out and the mesmerising performances began. We were transported into another dimension altogether, such is the brilliance of the director of the play Mobeen Ejaz. Through an intense narrative of innocence, youth and love with the quintessential essence of morose reality, he invites the viewer to contemplate the morbid, complicated flip side of life Art is storytelling and story telling is the heart of everything. We analyse art according to how much real human concern or genuine feeling can be conveyed through a certain medium. We were transported into another dimension altogether, such is the brilliance of the director of the play, Mobeen Ejaz. Through an intense narrative of innocence, youth and love with the quintessential essence of morose reality, he invites the viewer to contemplate the morbid, complicated flip side of life. We go through an intense quadrant of emotions, laughing with a brimful of teary eyes, happily enjoying the blatant flirtations with the gory knowledge of impending doom, getting caught up with every second of the intense performances. The story revolves around Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s life and works, a narrative that constitutes his ideology, with live music and singing to transport the spectator into his world. What makes this play is not just the uniform strength, but the interaction of the actors who invite the spectator to join the conversation. It is a collective dialogue, manifesting from the individual artists sensitive performances, collaborative and experimenting with a little bit of cultural differences and thought processes brought together on one platform. The captivating protagonist Sikandar Nawaz with Nerda Khara’s enthralling performance, not just present a character but ideas that make you question, analyse and reform. Moiz’s performance, who is incidentally, actually the lead actor’s younger brother, is praiseworthy and pulls at the heartstrings. Applause for Habib Chaudhry, Zainab Zaidi and of course a most entertaining performance by Ammar Sidiqui. There are underlying, unspoken and implicit assumptions brought to light with brilliant subtlety. The constraints of society, the limitations of the mind and the need for freedom, mindful and spiritual, are played upon through different characters. The individual acting, blurred and overlapping in some scenes, is masterfully performed. The actors portray conflicting ideas and thoughts and heightened emotions. This play is a brilliant initiative by Chota Mota Theatre, headed by two very talented individuals, Sarah Zahid and Mobeen Ejaz and associate director Saad Ali Gill. “We want theatre to be an important factor of personal growth amongst children and the youth, making them rediscover themselves through this powerful art medium. This play is close to our heart, as we have co-written it and used different theatrical techniques to engage the viewer.” Chota Mota Theatre gives rise to an interesting concept of noveau theatre, performing its live theatrical promos in public spaces, familiarizing the idea of street theatre, to make it less ‘alien’ to the public. The ghazals were performed live, by music director Tehseen W Chishty, beautifully sung by himself and Samar Rizwan. Hashash is on tabla and Sabih on acoustic guitar. I would recommend a visit to this show to anyone who loves acting and theatre, as it allows you to feel and experience true emotion from a new perspective. It is awe inspiring how this form of art has evolved over the years and contributed to how we experience emotion through not just a flat screen venture but a three dimensional dialogue that invites you to be an innate part of the conversation. The writer can be reached at email@example.com Published in Daily Times, December 23rd 2017.