Lovers of Urdu poetry — especially the works of poetic exponent Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan — are in for a treat this week. A three-day festival featuring plays on the legendary bard is being organised by Delhi-based theatre company Pierrot’s Troupe and city-based group Kirdaar.
The event will see three plays directed by thespian M Sayeed Alam — Ghalib In New Delhi, Ghalib and Ghalib Ke Khat.
"I share a special association with the festival because Ghalib, who died a pauper, has been my bread and butter for the past 15 years,” says Alam. Over three days, the audience can expect some entertaining drama and comedy along with poetry.
"The audience does not understand the language, its script or its literature. Even the literary standards of Urdu practitioners have fallen. So much so that the trash written (and also sung and performed equally badly) by a few of those in the film industry is hailed as good poetry and lyrics (sic),” adds Alam.
The festival will see the likes of Tom Alter, Iqbal Niyazi, Manohar Pandey, M Sayeed Alam and Niti Phool coming together. “I’ve been associated with both plays — Ghalib and Ghalib Ke Khat — since the time they were written five years back. The rehearsals at Alam’s house in Delhi were like voyages of discovery. I remember the tea and the food we shared, and the spirit of all being one,” says Alter.
Ghalib: A vibrant account of the life and times of the legendary poet.
Ghalib Ke Khat: A unique play that portrays Mirza Ghalib and his friends, disciples, wife and even his maid, reading and reviewing his letters.
Ghalib in New Delhi: Deals with Mirza Ghalib’s re-birth in 21st century New Delhi, highlighting his trials and tribulations.
The festival will be held from November 15 to 17, at Rangsharda Auditorium, Bandra Reclamation, from 7.30 pm onwards.