BAYAAN E GHALIB during the (THE MUTINY) 1857
Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib (1797-1869), noble, poet and wit of Mughal Delhi in its twilight years before the revolt of 1857, is the most famous and popular of the Urdu poets that our subcontinent has produced. His frankness, his humorous good nature, and his cheerfully avowed unorthodoxy with regard to the more irksome formalities of his Muslim religion, made him something of a legend in his own lifetime. A lifetime of which a major chunk he happened to share with a poet king who was destined to be the last of an illustrious lineage to rule this country. From 1854-following the death of his great rival Zauq- Ghalib became the Poet Laureate of Mughal Delhi.
Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor was a mystic,a talented poet and a skilled calligrapher.But while Zafar’s Mughal ancestors had controlled most of India,the aged Zafar was king in name only. Deprived of real political power by the East India Company,Zafar nevertheless succeeded in creating a court of great brilliance,and presided over one of the great cultural renaissances of Indian history. Then in 1857 Zafar’s flourishing capital became the centre of an uprising that reduced his beloved Delhi to a battered, empty ruin.
The great Mughal capital,caught in the middle of remarkable cultural flowering,was turned overnight into a battleground.The siege of Delhi was the Raj’s Stalingrad:a fight to death between two powers,neither of them could retreat.-There were casualties on both sides with the Britishers getting the better of natives.Delhi was left an empty ruin with the Mughal king caught and surrendered,taken into captivity and put on trial and sentenced to transportation. With Zafar’s departure, there was complete collapse of the fragile court culture he had faithfully nourished and exemplified and the seat of his power the Red Fort had portions torn down.The walled city was plundered and areas destroyed to built a new state order.
Mirza Ghalib was historically placed to witness this decline of one culture and the rise of another to leave an indelible mark on the destiny of this subcontinent. Although Ghalib was confided to his house during the mutiny but he was deeply affected to reflect on those tumultuous happenings around him with a large body of letters in Urdu to his friends and a whole book Dastambo in Persian.His sensitive soul was reacting in the most unique manner with writings that could sublimate all the pathos and pain in a most creative manner.
The city has become a desert….by God,Delhi is no more a city ,but a camp,a cantonment..No fort,no city, no bazaars ,no watercourses…Four things kept Delhi alive-The fort ,the daily crowds at the Jama Masjid , the weekly walk to the Yamuna Bridge,and the yearly fair of the flower-sellers. None of these survives,so how could Delhi survive?Yes there was once a city by the name of Delhi in India….
A mystical Sufi by inclination,self –consciously rakish and aristocratic by temperament,Ghalib in his writings provides some of the most colourful,sophisticated and melancholy records of the of Mughal Delhi.
YAAD THEEN HUMKO BHEE RANGARANG BAZM ARAAEEYAAN
LEKIN AB NAQSHO NIGAARE TAAQ-E-NISIYAAN HO GAYEEN”
I TOO REMEMBERED GATHERINGS RICH IN ALL KINDS OF BEAUTY
NOW THEY ARE ONLY FORMS AND PATTERNS ON OBLIVION’S SHELF
“HOON GARMIYE NISHAATE TASSAVVUR SE NAGHMA SANJ
MAIN ANDALEEBE GULSHANE NAA AAFREEDA HOON”
I sing with joy when I imagine tomorrow
I am the lark of a garden that is yet to be
Ghalib aur Ghadar- This is a show that intends to bring Ghalib’s memoirs, writings and poems together to commemorate 150 years of the uprising and provide an insight into the culture of a bygone era through the writings of a great literary master .It would give a glimpse into the persona of Ghalib, providing snippets from his poetry and examples of wit to bring forth the culture which made Ghalib an Icon of all time. The show would bring together the prose and poetry of Ghalib presented by two of India’s leading performers Mr. Talat Aziz the celebrated composer and Ghazal singer and Mr.Farooque Sheikh, the veteran Actor.
Overall the show is divided into 8 short segments with anecdotes from Ghalib’s life, and a selection of his poetry and prose to be presented by Farooque Shaikh as Ghalib. Talat Aziz provides the musical interpretation of each ghazal, sung by him and juxtaposed with each segment to take you through a musical journey of this great Urdu poet-reliving some of those rare moments of the bygone era in a unique stage presentation .It is a show which transcends the limits of a stage concert and becomes a cultural event to savour.
Approximately of 90 minutes in duration, the show is conceived , scripted and directed by Salim Arif whose plays like Aapki Soniya,Kharaashein and Ghalibnaama are acclaimed all over.This interesting show is designed to go beyond a concert and become a breakthrough in stage presentations.
Ek shaam, Ghalib ke naam