Rail Kahaani is a show put together by Zambeel. Five stories that are intrinsically linked through the concept of railway journeys. The stories in this collection navigate time from pre-partition to present day Pakistan and feature everyday narratives that evoke memory, myth, superstition, human interaction and societal perceptions.
Katta hua Dabba (Intizar Hussain)
The stillness of an uneventful evening is in sharp contrast to the disquiet in Manzoor’s mind as friends gather to share travel stories.
Dhoka (Mubashir Ali Zaidi)
Known for his 100-word stories, the author elucidates a few moments of human interaction on a railway platform. Despite its brevity, the narrative leaves a lasting impact on the imagination.
Reserve Seat (Intizar Hussain)
Barri Bu is anxious to interpret her recent dreams, particularly the one that finds her on a railway station.
Aik Shauhar ki Khatir (Ismat Chughtai)
Written in the first person, Chughtai’s humorous account of encounters in a women’s compartment of a train reveals perceptions about women in pre partition India.
Thal (Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi)
Set in the Thal desert at a time when the railway was a new phenomenon for its inhabitants, this story traces the myths and superstitions that ruled the region’s inhabitants for generations.
This was performed at the Lahore Biennale. You can read more about Zambeel on https://zambeeldramaticreadings.wordpress.com.