SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

Ismat Chughtai’s ‘Lihaaf’ - A Theatrical Narration by Roli Arun

Ismat Chughtai’s ‘Lihaaf’
Roli Arun (Playtonik and Aks Arts)

Date: 29 March 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 29 March 2019Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Djam Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Performance


Celebrating the month of International Women’s Day, the famous story of the Padma Shri (1976) awarded author Ismat Chughtai’s ‘Lihaaf’ is performed as a theatrical narration by Roli Arun. The 40-minute solo piece in Hindi and Urdu (subject translated) with a couple of musical interludes in the form of songs, is of special interest to students and the community interested in history, languages and literature of South Asia. The debut performance opens a discussion on Chughtai -- a significant voice in Urdu literature creating a woman centric story based on the unfortunate consequences of a loveless marriage, touching on sensitive socio-cultural issues of same sex love relationship and child abuse.

  • Narration: Roli Arun (Playtonik and Aks Arts)
  • Direction: Deeban Chakravarthy (Playtonik)
  • Discussant and Q&A: Rukhsana Ahmad (Writer, Playwright and Translator; Co-founder of Kali Theatre Company & SAADA)


Roli Arun is a theatre artiste from Bangalore and co-founder of the theatre company called Playtonik Productions. She has acted in Mahesh Dattani's ‘Where there is a Will’, Neil Simon's ‘Rumors’ and ‘California Suite’, Sara Ruhl's ‘Clean House’, Ray Cooney's ‘Funny Money’ and with ‘Short and Sweet’ theatre festivals in Bangalore. She works with the London based international theatre company Aks Arts with a distinctly South-Asian voice, known for their immersive courtroom dramas, large-cast physical comedies and intimate two-handers. Roli uses her own devices and training in the Arts’ repertoire of dramatic techniques on existentialism and empowerment to speak of child sexual abuse and mental illness. Vocal support is by Arun Rangaraju.


  • £8 standard
  • £4 SOAS students and staff*

* Students and staff must show a valid ID card on the day

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Organiser: Dr Sanjukta Ghosh (Research Associate, SOAS South Asia Institute)

Organiser: SOAS South Asia Institute

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4390