Naqal is one of the entertainments in the villages of North India, especially in Punjab
, Uttar Pradesh
and Jammu and Kashmir
. It is an art of imitation.
Naqal highlights the sordid side of life. Mirasis, Naqaals and Bhands usually perform this form of art. The play is performed through crispy conservation.
The Naqal group comprises of dancers, singers, clowns and musicians. The team is lead by an Ustad. The comic character in the play is performed by the Bhands, who are expert in composing and performing jokes relating to an occasion. The semi-historical tales like Dulla Bhatti, Sohni Mahiwal, Kima Malki, Hodi and Koklan are usually performed in the play.
In different states it is performed differently. In Uttar Pradesh, Naqal is a farce with a leader known as the Khalifa. The joker determines the action and pace through his joke and tricks. During the play joker satirizes the audiences also.