Tributes paid to theatre icon Madeeha Gauhar

Lahore (Qasim Ali) Glowing tributes were paid on Monday to theatre icon Madeeha Gauhar on her 4th death anniversary at Ajoka Office Lahore. The event was organised by Ajoka Theatre and attended by Ajoka members, Madeeha’s family and friends of Madeeha .

Those who spoke in the occasion included Asim Bukhari, Professor Shaista Siraj ud din, writer Neelam Ahmad Bashir, Ajoka Chair Zara Salman, Chinese theatre Scholar Yu Hao Hara,  Madeeha’s son and head of Ajoka Institute Nirvaan Nadeem, actor Usman Zia and Ajoka General Secretary Sohail Warraich. Young Ajoka members who spoke included Aisha Khan, Usra Irfan and Umar Bhatti.“ Madeeha’s husband Shahid Nadeem while welcoming the participants , shared his memories and talked about her undying passion for theatre .”

The speakers lauded Madeeha’s contribution to the growth of  meaningful theatre and peace in the face of hostile governments and intolerant sections of society. A documentary on Madeeha’s career as a director and actor was also screened.

• Yu Hao Hara
“ I never met Madeeha but during my research on Pakistani theatre, I found that she inspired so many theatre activists and was regarded as a role model.”

• Zara Salman:
“ she was not only a good director but also a very good teacher and an avid reader”.
• Shaista Siraj ud din :
“ she was so devoted to theatre that she continued directing when she was bed-ridden”.
• Neelam Ahmad Bashir:
“ Madeeha was like family and we shared views about society and women’s rights.”
• Asim Bukhari:
“ I was never satisfied as an actor for commercial theatre but Madeeha introduced me to a theatre form which was artistic and meaningful.”
• Nirvaan Nadeem:
“ she was my mother and my director. She is still a source of inspiration for me”.

• Usman Zia:
“ she treated group members as her children, she took care of her team as a mother but also expected them to give their best.”

Musical tributes were paid by Naseem Abbas, Usman Raj and Kanwal Christopher. Dancer Luke Kelvin presented a beautifully choreographed dance tribute.