If you’re looking for something interesting to do this weekend, then you could take a look at this experimental musical performance created and conceptualized by award-winning singer and composer Sonam Kalra. With the use of various elements like music, theatre, video, and design, Kalra wants to help recount and retell the stories of India’s Partition. Titled simply as, Partition: Stories of Separation, the musical was inspired by the poetry of Ustad Daman.
The words of the poet Ustad Daman are an echo of the pain experienced by the millions of Indians and Pakistanis who have lived through the partition. Along with him poets Manto, Ali Sardar Jafri, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Amrita Pritam to resonate with the people whose lives were torn apart by this historical calamity.
Although Sonam Karla has not had to live through the pain of Partition herself, Sonam has always been moved to tears when talking about it with someone and has often wondered why she feels so deeply about it and that maybe the pain is embedded in her DNA. It is this questioning nature, that has led her to create the musical. The groups that she leads includes accomplished opera, gospel and jazz singers with formal training in Indian music and also includes award-winning theatre actor, Salima Raza and one of India’s top visual artists, Gopika Chowfla.
Sonam hopes that by revisiting these stories using the medium of music and theatre, we are able to find a way forward of peace and co-existence based on shared grief, loss, love and history. The personal accounts of ordinary people are entwined in the show as well.
The musical has been received well by the press, with the Hindustan Times and Deccan Herald along with others giving it rave reviews. It is an effort to look at the holocaust that tore our country apart in through a humane approach rather than the lens of politics. Partition: Stories of Separation will be playing at the Experimental Theatre, NCPA.