Anwar Maqsood may not realize but when he first wrote for theatre in 2012, he gave it the uplift it dearly required; Kyon Nikala does the same thing as the maestro returns to theatre after a gap of three years during which audience had been given a dose of slapstick than thinking comedy, making it a no-go area for some. Thankfully, Kyon Nikala is a step in the reviving direction for the audience since it makes you laugh at everyone including your own self – if you understand the reference correctly.
Chaudhry sahib (Sajid Hasan) is a veteran politician who is in-demand because his party Pakistan Muslim League isn’t; others try to lure him into their camp but he refuses to believe that anyone else could become Prime Minister than Nawaz Sharif. His Cook Mujeeb (Mohsin Ejaz) tries to talk sense to him but he doesn’t listen to his advice nor pays heed to his wife’s taunts who keeps telling him to switch. Add NAB officers, political workers, a transgender, undisclosed assets and an unseen widow and the play becomes all the more interesting, considering pop culture references are here, there and everywhere.
After watching the play you would not be able to see anyone else in the role of Chaudhry than veteran actor Sajid Hasan; here he reunites with his Sitara Aur Mehrunisa co-star/writer after 26 years and gives a classic Sajid Hasan performance. His mannerisms, his taunts, his flirty nature reminds you of many politicians especially the ones who ruled over the country for the last 5 years. Mohsin Ejaz gives his best performance to date (better than Siachen) as he looks, talks and even walks like a Bengali who hasn’t returned to his homeland after 1971. He explains why he speaks good Urdu, why he believes the Chaudhry should quit PML N and who is he scared off the most, all to the audience whom he refers to as Khalayi Makhlooq. Then there is veteran Nazar Hussain who played two roles of a transgender and a NAB officer and whom Anwar Maqsood called a colleague of ‘the first man on the planet’. Director Dawar Mehmood must also be commended for juggling old and new actors with perfection.
Kyon Nikala had some lines that didn’t seem appropriate for the family audience and Anwar Maqsood disowned those lines during his closing remarks. Except for that, everything was as good as any of his earlier plays barring Dharna that seemed more Kopykats oriented than Anwar sahib. In a live performance, the actors are subject to distraction from the audience and that too happened at Kyon Nikala where there were a few fumbles due to mobile phones ringing (in the audience) and kids crying (who brings kids to such places!).
The Verdict 4/5
Kyon Nikala is one of those plays that bank on the audience’s ‘political sense of humor’ as Pakistan Muslim League N is the main target, followed by Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf and Pakistan People’s Party. The jokes in this play are trademark Anwar Maqsood jokes that only a person with common sense can understand and that’s why people who loved his last plays would enjoy this for sure. The ticket is a little overpriced (Rs. 2000) because people come in bulks and if they want to make it popular, they will have to lower the price to the usual Rs. 1500, or offer discounts. Go ahead and watch the play for non-stop entertainment.