Hawas – Awareness Campaign on HIV/Aids


A dance play titled Hawas presented by the Thespianz Theatre group (as part of a mobile theatre unit on a truck) in collaboration with the Goethe Institut Karachi

The play tells the story of a young boy (Sikandar Arif) who is a vagabond of sorts. He sees a girl sitting at the table in a restaurant and flirts with her. The relationship moves forward and he gets intimate with her. The blossoming of the relationship is shown through a dance sequence to the famous Bollywood song ‘Ooh la la’ from the film The Dirty Picture.

The boy then meets another girl and the pattern is repeated — he flirts with her, both get closer, a song is played to which they dance with a group of girls and boys. Then the protagonist bumps (literally) into a third girl; she receives a minor injury and he helps her get better. The same thing happens and he sleeps with her as well. In the process he spends money on the girls and reaches a state of bankruptcy.

Once he runs out of money, a homosexual (Haider) meets him and helps him financially. He tries to develop a physical rapport with the protagonist, who initially resists but after a while gives in. As a result of his promiscuity, the boy becomes an HIV/Aids patient and collapses.

Hawas, directed by Faisal Malik, was basically a dance performance put together for 45 minutes or so. The entire drama was backed by loud and strong background music, which one felt was a tad too much. Then the actors constantly moved their lips which in a manner of speaking failed the purpose of mime. Not that mimics do not move their lips. What lacked was the expressions and gestures which distinguish the mime form from other genres of theatre. Some of the scenes without music or with less loud compositions would have been more effective.

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