As Darogha Nabi Bakhsh escorts Kalay Mian to Nawab Vajid Ali’s Shah’s splendid gardens, we get an idea about the king’s keen interest in uniquely designed landscapes. Asad Chaman (the tiger Garden) is distinctive in the naming of each tree and Taoos Chaman is characterised by its trees sculpted in the form of peacocks. We can allow our imagination to picture such a wondrous sight and share Kalay Mian’s amazement as he hears the Darogha speak about the King’s gardens.
Naiyer Masud introduces us to Taoos Chaman and by that virtue to Vajid Ali Shah, who despite being a tangential figure in the story is represented neither as the debauched king that many historical accounts presented him as, nor a larger than life king. The author instead, according to Asif Farrukhi presents the king as a human being.
Hear Asif’s Farrukhi speak about Naiyer Masud, his writing and his representation of Vajid Ali Shah in this clip:
Zambeel Dramatic Readings aims to present texts in Urdu and English rendered in their dramatised form, to create a dynamic collusion between literature and performance. Referencing traditions of storytelling and the contemporary form of the radio play, our works traverse time and geographical boundaries to interpret and enliven narratives through sound and recitation.