Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 1, 1981 p. 70.

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Rashid Jahan


A play In one act, translated by Steven At. Pou-Ios

Characters: Maulvi Atlqullah

Fatima: Atlqullah's wife

Aziz: a young man, first cousin of Fatliaa

Qadir: younger brother of Aziz

Aunt: mother of Aziz and Qadir

Tenant's wife

Bar! Bi: a servant woman in Atiqullah's house

A servant woman with a child

Another woman

Boy (seven or eight years old)

Time: Between noon and late afternoon

Place: Fatima's house. A rather large hall on both sides of which there are wooden platforms covered with white sheets and set with bolster cushions. In the middle there is a cot; the bedding is rolled up toward the head of the cot and Atiqullah uses it as a bolster. On one side of the cot is a huqqa, on the other, a. spittoon. On one platform, Fatima has been sewing. A pan box and other related things lie near her. The floor has no carpet. Two or three low stools are lying around. There are niches in the walls of the hall in which copper pots and china are displayed. The door from the outside is on the left, covered by burlap curtain. On the right, in the rear, there is a door leading to the stairs to the tenant's apartment. At the very back of the stage there are two doors, one open and one closed.

Atiqullah: (Puffing on the huqqa.) I can't understand how my second marriage will affect you. All the household and daily expenses will still be in your hands. How many times have I already told you that I'll take care of you equally;

Since none of your children have lived, I'm forced to marry again.

Fatima: (Lifting her face.) if the children don't live is it because I strangle them? If God doesn't will that we should have living children, what can I do about it? Who can oppose God's will? What will you do if the second woman's children also die?

Atiqullah: At least a man should make every attempt he possibly can. I must be around forty now and so far I haven't got a


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