By turning a true life event from the Mughal era into a play, a theatre group called Thespianics is going to show how friendship between two people can turn sour if their hunger for power takes over them.
Titled 1757 (when the Gods frowned), the play will take place today and is based on the tumultuous life of two nawabs of Bengal: Siraj Ud-Daulah and Mir Jafar. The latter became the first nawab of the Najafi dynasty after deceiving nawab Siraj Ud-Daulah. The play is set in the year 1756 when the Mughal empire was on a decline and its various vassals were beginning to break free. “I have always had a deep interest in the Indian history — and what I can learn from it. To be precise, I want to understand what caused the great dynasties and civilisations to decline,” says Vijay Kumar, the writer of the play and a banker by profession. About Siraj Ud-Daulah and Mir Jafar, the two main protagonists, Kumar says, “They both have big ambitions for themselves and for Bengal but cannot agree on how to approach their goals.”
Shikharjeet Alagh, who is portraying the role of Mir Jafar, the nawab of Bengal, says, “Jafar is the oldest and the most experienced man in the play. He knows his priorities and thinks two steps ahead of other people. It is his traits like wisdom, courage and ruthlessness that make him successful.” The idea behind staging this three-act play, says Kumar, was to throw light on this vital, yet less remembered chapter of India’s history. “We are hoping our audience, both young and old, will be able to appreciate and relate with the tensions in the relationship between the principal power players of Bengal. One lesson to be learnt from this play is that a common interest is best served through collaboration than confrontation,” he says.
Catch it live
What: 1757 (When the God frowned)
Timing: 6.30 pm onwards
Where: Epicentre, Sector-44, Gurgaon
NEAREST METRO STATION: IFFCO on the Yellow Line