When was the last time you wrote a letter? Are you aware how significant a letter used to be for lovers? Have you ever tried hiding a letter under a pillow? Can you imagine communicating through letters?
The play Mian, Biwi aur Wagah leaves you with many such questions about nostalgia, the sense of belonging, and isolation. The play opened to five full houses in Dubai last year and is on its first tour abroad.
Mian and Biwi are the South Asian husband-wife duo, while Wagah – a border crossing between India and Pakistan – takes human form to become the narrator of the play.
“The play aims to revive the spirit and tradition of letter-writing that is rapidly disappearing under the onslaught of communication technology. At the same time, it tells you how similar people in India and Pakistan are,” said Dhruti Shah D’Souza, director of the play.
Mian, Biwi aur Wagah is based on the real-life experiences of a Dubai-based journalist couple from India and Pakistan, Ehtesham Shahid and Amna Ehtesham Khaishgi, playing themselves.
In early 2017, the couple was part of a short play in Dubai where they experimented with the idea of letters for the first time. They portrayed a married couple, each one writing letters to their respective families. These letters were used as a voice-over. “The audience loved the concept. We decided that there was potential to develop the idea and look at it from a Dastangoi (storytelling) perspective. That was how Mian, Biwi aur Wagah came into being,” said D’Souza.