Parah is the name of the play that brought tears to my eyes tonight. I would strongly recommend anyone reading this to catch it while it’s still showing at the KL Performing Arts Centre until Sunday (5th Feb). It’s a big story with a moving Malay dialogue (comes with English sur-titles).
As the synopsis says:
Melur, Hafiz, Mahesh and Kahoe are Form 5 students studying in Kuala Lumpur. Best friends, they always find themselves in Melur’s house hanging out, mucking about and sometimes, even studying. Whenever the four friends are together, they really do look like the poster children of 1Malaysia.
One day during their group study session, Melur discovers that a page from a literature novel belonging to her schoolteacher mother has been torn out. Thinking that it is a silly prank one of the boys have played, she questions them about it, but they all say the had nothing to do with it. Though Melur feels that one of them is definitely the culprit.
As Melur investigates further, the boys become as curious as Melur as to the contents of the page that was torn out from this novel, Interlok. Questions come up. Questions on their collective histories and personal identities. Questions that neither Mahesh, Hafiz, Melur nor Kahoe know the answers to.
Does a word really have the power to shape reality and change the course of their friendship?
The actors were brilliant and their emotions weren’t contrived. At times, we laughed at them and at times they provoked us into becoming mutes. Some of the things that they said in the dialogue truly resonated with me and teared my eyes at many points through the play.
Deep down, I hope that racist members of our community would watch the play and to emote the kinds of pain and suffering that it causes but I quietly fear that the message of the play would be thoroughly lost on them. But there is hope if this play can be staged for the young who live through it.
Anyway, if anyone has the time to spare, catch it before it ends. It’s going to be the best way to spend your 2-hours this weekend.
PS: The title – Parah – is extremely apt. It’s a play on the ‘P’ word that brings great pain and suffering.