By Art Desk Editor, *The conference of the birds- A mystic journey * - Republica - Kathmandu, Nepal; Sunday, May 15, 2011
Kathmandu: The stage at Naga Theatre of Vajra Hotel Bijeswari, Swayambhu saw birds chirping from ignorance to wisdom in the evening of May 13.
‘Studio 7,’ a theatre production company at the hotel, showcased an hour and a half long performance based on the poem ‘Conference of the Birds’ by 12th Century Sufi poet Farid al-Din Attar.
The poem is a saga of a flock of birds who are troubled and in need of a proper ruler ‘a king.’ The representatives of the birds gather to find a solution to their problem through discussions. Each of them, however, is filled with pride, ego and endless desires.
While all of them talk highly of themselves and vote oneself as the ruler, a Hoopoe appears. He tells them they would have to travel seven valleys and find Simorgh who would be the perfect ruler for them.
Yearning, love, gnosis, detachment, unity of God, bewilderment, selflessness, and oblivion in God are the seven valleys the birds cross. The play makes use of satiric elements to give pass on a moral lesson.
Director of the play Sabine Lehmann said the play is a metaphor to our times and to us. “We are all selfish and proud, just like the birds,” she said adding, “The poem asks us to give up worldly pride”.
”In one scene, that gives the play a contemporary touch, the birds discuss the need for a constitution but are unwilling to go through another election”.
Apart from the colorful presentation and the message of the poem, quirky and clever dialogues had the viewers’ in fits of laughter.
The play based on a poem by a Persian writer was enacted by Nepali actors and seemed like a satire aimed at prevailing political situation where we’re all yearning for constitution and peace.
The performances will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until May 29 and the tickets are priced at Rs 700 each.