“Raffu” an unconventional Urdu play from Dubai!

Dhruti - Meraki
Dhruti Shah

 “Raffu – Aik Lamtnahi Dastan (Story of Infinity)” makes its debut at The Junction, Alserkal Avenue on Friday, 13 & Saturday 14 March 2020 – at 7:30 PM on 13 March, and two shows on 14 March at 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM

Raffu (Urdu for Darning) is an inventive piece of writing by Dubai-based photographer-writer Durdana Farid that attempts to explore delicate human emotions. This play, in essence, is a movement against indifference – the voice of buried emotions that never get to be heard. It follows a successful run of the UAE’s most acclaimed Urdu play “Mian, Biwi aur Wagah” that enthralled audience’s with 17 shows worldwide (Dubai, New Delhi, and Karachi), Dubai-based performing artist Dhruti Shah is set to entrance the city’s ardent theatre enthusiasts with yet another originally devised directorial Urdu-language theatre production, “Raffu – Aik Lamtnahi Dastan (Story of Infinity).”

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“We didn’t host conventional auditions, instead we sat and had a chat with the aspiring actors; for Raffu, our search was not for good actors, instead we were seeking out good people who shared our passion for storytelling. It took us months to find all our actors and to our surprise none of them but one were native Urdu speakers. However, all of them were perfect for the roles and hence began our journey of learning and unlearning; It was very rewarding as a writer to be able to guide the characters with the language, together we overcame the struggles of learning the correct pronunciations intact with learning the right emotions behind the lines, with each passing rehearsal, I could see the growth and bonding of the actors with their characters.” says Durdana Farid

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“Raffu is a culmination of two-years of inner exploration and reflection, purging, personal journeys, ancient indigenous practices of understanding human wounds and developing the faculty of compassion. With our deeply woven process of arts, we hope to touch hearts and souls, and believe that our efforts will be paid forward, in order for us to be able to reach out to as many people as we can. We are humbly requesting for all the support we can get to spread the word and for as many people to come and experience this soulful play from Dubai!”adds Dhruit Shah

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Raffu is made up of eight strong characters that harmoniously weave an authentic story.

CIPHER: Containing nothing, it encircles everything – without a beginning, without an end, it stretches from emptiness to infinity and back again – Played by Nabila Ouanes, she is from Algeria.

BILQUEES: Symbol of sensitivity – played by Farzana who is from South India and probably has worked the hardest to learn and deliver her lines in Urdu.

KIMAYA: Mythical bird – alter ego and healer to Bilquees, symbol of hope and light – played by Vrinda – has no lines. She is the movement of the play.

Storyteller / universe / raffugar – Played by Dhruti Shah.

JUGNU: Lightworker / miracle worker – also known as the tree of scars illuminating as fireflies – Played by Johan D’souza.

MADHO: The scarred fool. A victim of delirium and madness stirred by the human race. A voice of conscience and vulnerability – a sacred clown.  – Played by Karan Hanj.

DILAWAR: Magician – symbol of a perfect ill sion and shadows –Played by Yasir Akhlaq from Multan, and the only actor whose native language is Urdu with Mother tongue being Punjabi and Saraiki.

AMMA: Madho’s mother – symbol of past / childhood scars / stifled wounds – played by Falaq Tahir from Kashmir.

Raffu is jointly conceptualised and developed by Dhruti and Durdana, the play is a highly sensorial drama on the universal landscape of human emotions, and utilises an unconventional form of storytelling through theatre as a medium, inviting the audience to awaken their imagination while seamlessly move into the language of metaphors, mystery, and perhaps, the unknown. The play’s language is Urdu. However, it is a story of human emotions. The message of the play is an attempt to launch a movement against the indifferences ingrained into each and every one of us. The shows are on 13th & 14th of March at the Junction Dubai, tickets are priced at AED 100 and are available on BookMyShow: http://bit.do/bookmyshow-raffu

 Show Timings:

– Friday, 13 March – 7:30 PM

– Saturday, 14 March – 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM

Gates open on Friday at 6:45 PM

Gates open on Saturday at 2:45 PM and 6:45 PM respectively

Run Time: 110-minutes (includes a 10-minute interval)

Language: Urdu


About Raffu:

Raffu is an honest attempt to lay bare the sensitivity of complex emotions we are often indifferent to. Its characters contain a fierceness which compel the audience to experience an inner journey that is personal both to the observer and the observed. What is reflected in each character has been crafted to awaken, and continue to unravel, what is buried within. Raffu is inspired and devised on the foundational philosophy of the ancient Japanese art form of Kintsugi. When a ceramic object breaks, you don’t discard or disregard its brokeness — you fill its cracks with gold, to illuminate the uniqueness of its tarnished beauty. The play transcends labels of positives and negatives, and instead firmly dives into unalloyed feelings and experiences just as is, without altering its natural course.


At the heart of it, we have woven threads of pathos and feeling into each character, that I wish in good faith the audience experiences catharsis along with them; to unravel the wisdom and healing of many untouched stories within. As in Kintsugi, Raffu is a symbol of the strength and beauty that lies in deep human scars.


Note to Editors: An experiential and absorbing meditation on the universal landscape of human emotions, Raffu (Urdu for Darning) is a sensorial storytelling phenomenon directed by Dhruti Shah and written by Durdana Farid. This 110-minutes Urdu language performance piece invites the audience to awaken their imagination, and seamlessly move into the language of metaphors, mystery, and perhaps, the unknown.


Instagram page: @raffu.infinity

Facebook page: Facebook.com/raffu.infinity


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