‘Akbar the Great Nahi Rahe’ Introduces the Mughal King to Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Play premieres in Delhi on Jan 25
India, or rather the new regime in the country, is out to rewrite history to suit its own ideology. Not only are stations and cities being renamed, there are historical figures whose claim to greatness is being questioned publicly.
Taking this as a starting point comes a new play titled 'Akbar the Great Nahi Rahe', all set to premiere in Delhi on January 25 from the stable of Pierrot Troupe.
Discussing his new production with this writer, Sayeed Alam, the play's producer said, “This play is all about the controversy where Akbar is being painted as an invader with no claim to any greatness."
The script written by Mrinal Mathur shows that Akbar, who is being expelled from 'Lutyens Swarg' takes the advice of historical figures like Ashok and Alexander on how to redeem his' izzat' or honour - till he finally bumps into Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Says Alam, "This idea evolved during rehearsals where Akbar tells Vajpayee that he wants to go back to earth to prove that he really was great. Akbar wants to contest elections but Vajpayee asks him if he has heard about EVMs.
He then says he will take the help of Anna Hazare, but Vajpayee tells him that after his experiences in the past Anna would think twice - 'Doodh ka jala chach bhi phoonk phoonk kar peeta hai.'
Says Atal Behari Vajpayee in this this tongue-in-cheek script that is bound to send the audience into splits, "You can only redeem your honour by going to the media. Go to Arnab Goswami and you will get your glory back. No one else matters in the media!"
But the best punch line comes in the end.
When Akbar asks Vajpayee why, being in the party that he is, he still insists on helping him, Vajpayee tells him "Rajdharm bhi koi cheez hoti hai."
This latest play from the producer of satire and comedies like 'Ghalib in New Delhi', 'Big B' and 'Mohan Se Mahatma', the last play from Pierrot Troupe which came out last year is being premiered on January 25. Roads in Delhi are not closed on that day, Alam would like readers to know.
Mrinal Mathur, who spent 20 years in the corporate world, says that although he has written some eight plays he is keeping his fingers crossed as this is his first play scheduled to be staged in Delhi.
His first play was 'Pashmina' which was staged in Mumbai and Amritsar. Talking about this debut he says, "Although the idea for the play was mine the script evolved under the leadership of Sayeed Alam, who is an old hand in the genre of satire and comedy. The world of creative art is different from the corporate because here we welcome and acknowledge collaboration of ideas unlike in other places."