A Sindhi private channel and the Sindh culture department organised the concert on Tuesday night. - Photo by AFP (File Photo)

HYDERABAD: Ranni Kot Ja Dharrail (Dacoits of Ranni Kot), an opera concert at the Mumtaz Mirza Auditorium of Sindh Museum proved to be an event of the season in the cultural capital of Sindh, Hyderabad, as a team of artistes filled the air and many believed that Shaikh Ayaz, the great Sindhi poet and versatile literary figure, was reborn.

This was part of events of festival organised to mark the 88th birth anniversary of Shaikh Ayaz.

A Sindhi private channel and the Sindh culture department organised the concert on Tuesday night. A number of people from various walks of life including writers, intellectuals, activists, women, art lovers and students attended the event.

For entertainment-starved dwellers of Hyderabad, the live opera concert brought immense joy.

Renowned intellectual Ibrahim Joyo was among the viewers who lauded the performance of opera singing. He also praised the performance of artistes and termed it a way forward in establishing a society based on justice and equality.

The most commendable roles were Weengus and Walhar which were enacted by Gulnaz and Bisharat Samoon, while Rasheed Charan, Mazhar Roonjho and Bilawal Khokhar played the role of dacoits. The team mesmerized the audience with traditional Sindhi music.

Over the years, Sindhi drama has experienced tremendous growth, particularly after launching of Sindhi TV channels. Ranni Kot Ja Dharrail, written approximately 40 years back, was enacted on stage for the first time.

The story is about a couple -- Weengus and Walhar -- living a very happy life with their only child Motia. The concept of the play is struggle to a secure future and safe present. The couple is symbolised as saner elements of society while child Motia as future.

All of sudden a gang of dacoits headed by Aado (Rasheed Charan) armed with guns and axes appears on the scene. The gang leader says he has been looting all the people and is cruel as every landlord and notable obeys him. No one will offer resistance to him. They loot house of Walhar and Weengus.

All dacoits except one, who is left to guard till the last time, is attacked and killed by Walhar with the help of an axe.

The story enters into the second phase with the death of the dacoit.

Walhar sings Shaikh Ayaz’s popular song “Sach Wado Dohaari Ahe” (truth is a big criminal). His neighbours assemble there. The little girl (Motia), carrying her slate, also reaches at the scene and says “she wants to study, but how can she if dacoits were there”.

Walhar tells his neighbours to resist excesses and injustices, which would give them a safe and secure future. Despite having arms and weapons dacoits are cowards like jackals, he says.

Her wife comes there and gets a commitment from him to go after dacoits who are still there and destroy them. He promises and prepares a red flag from her wife’s Doppatta with a promise to put an end to every cruelty and injustice.

He also urges his neighbours that oppressed people are a force,who should challenge the oppressors. He asks them to come under the red flag and put an end to oppressors.

Walhar carrying a gun with the red flag dances and vows to wage a struggle while her wife Weengus also joins him. Walhar encourages people to fight injustices and continue their struggle. He also promises with his wife that after killing dacoits and cruel people, he would return.

The audience, seemed to be very receptive to the show, responded with an unending clapping and joined Walahr in singing the song.

This admiration continued till the curtain fell after 48 minutes of performance. The opera was directed by Naz Sehto with the co-direction of Younus Sanai. Songs were sung by Bedal Masroor and Kousar Marvi while poetry of opera was recited by Farooq Talpur and Farhana Anees.