Now 'Ghalib' wants to live at 7, RCR !
In a hilarious master-stroke ‘Ghalib’ in his new avatar opts to share residence with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 7, Race Course Road.
He reasons that the above mentioned house is almost always vacant with Modi being on tour and even if he is in town they can share the bungalow because both live without the encumbrance of a family.
This is the liberty only playwrights can take and ‘Ghalib in New Delhi’ produced by Pierrot’s Troupe which had its 405 th performance recently is the most adaptable to such contemporary adaptations.
The plot of the play where the great poet Mirza Ghalib lands at the Inter-State-Bus Terminus ISBT) in New Delhi in the 21 st century to look for his house in Ballimaran lends itself to immense comic variations.
When he reaches his original Haveli in Ballimaran he is mistaken as the Jinn or ghost of Ghalib and when he can’t convince the neighbors that he actually is Ghalib he has no choice but to take accommodation in a servants quarter in Delhi along with Jai Hind, a Bihari student of Delhi University.
To make matters worse, he has to contend with a Punjabi landlady Mrs.Chadha for whom Ghalib has to sing like Jagjit Singh or act like Naseeruddin Shah to prove that he is an artiste.
This Ghalib, acted out by Dr.M.Sayeed Alam, who also wrote the script, goes through the whole gamut of marketing techniques to prove that he has talent. In desperation he calls a press conference. But to his shock he finds the reporters more interested in munching off the snacks than listening to what he has to say!
But media is not the only butt of his satire in Ghalib. Dr.Alam, a PhD in International Politics form AMU, who started Pierrot’s Troupe in 1989 and writes all its scripts, takes potshots at everyone be it Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal or Narendra Modi in his plays.
In his latest play someone asks Ghalib why he did not chose to be born in Pakistan in his second birth. To which he replies, “What’s the point. Even if I was born there the Pakistanis keep sending Pakistanis into India.”
Asked about such contemporary references in his latest version, Dr.Sayeed Alam told this writer, “I don’t believe in taking sides in politics. And ‘Ghalib in New Delhi’ is a play where Ghalib is born every time the play is staged. Since this time the play was staged just after the Olympics when someone suggests that Ghalib should try to get the Bharat Ratna to gain recognition he says “Bharat Ratna is not such a big deal. Someone or the other does get it every after two/three years. To become really famous I must strive to get a gold medal.”
His group has created a repertory of plays in Hindi, Urdu & English including Ghalib In New Delhi, Maulana Azad, Cut...Cut...Cut, Big B, Ghalib, K L Saigal, Sons of Babur, 1947, Ghalib Ke Khat, Shah Jahan -O- Mumtaz, Pakistan Aur Alzheimer's, To Gandhi Ji With Spelling Mistakes, Tumko Chahoon, Chacha Chakkan In Action etc.