19 January, 2021

Peer To Peerzada

Peer To Peerzada
The severe-looking lady at the airport immigration counter is actually very friendly, and the burly customs official only wants to know whether the young ladies in our group are from Bollywood. To his disappointment, this is just a theatre group from Delhi, here to perform at the World Festival of Performing and Visual Arts. Outside, we are welcomed with flowers by three enthusiastic young men, student volunteers from the host organisation, who are to remain our lifelines for the next five days. The 10-day annual festival organised by the charismatic Peerzada family—brothers Salman, Usman, Imran, Faizaan, Saadan and sister Tasneem—in memory of their father Rafi Peer, doyen of Punjabi theatre and a fondly remembered director-general of All India Radio—is the largest arts festival in Asia. The venue is the impressive Alhamra Cultural Complex, across from the Gaddafi stadium (a Test venue where I saw youngsters rush out from Friday prayers, straight out to the field, to bowl mean outswingers!)...


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