Ghalib lives the ‘new normal’
Back with a contemporary twist, after being performed over 500 times, in this post lockdown version of the play, Mirza Ghalib deals with issues plaguing 2021
Hugely popular, highly acclaimed and widely travelled in India as well as abroad – Pierrot’s Troupe’s ‘Ghalib In New Delhi’ is back. One of India’s longest-running comedies, it returns post lockdown, leaving Ghalib to deal with newer issues – from Corona to Rihanna to Kisaan aandolan.
To be performed for the 521st time, this rip-roaring comedy has the great erstwhile Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib, revisiting his beloved ‘Dehli’, now ironically ‘Delhi’, in 2021 to witness and relish his posthumous fame.
The entire plot revolves around Ghalib striving against an omnipotent identity crisis, beginning with the occupants of his ‘Haveli’ mistaking him as Ghalib’s ‘Jinn’. This forces him to stay with a university student from Bihar, named Jai Hind, in a servant quarter owned by a Punjaban LandLady, Mrs Chadhdha.
His confidence is further shattered when Jai Hind and Mrs Chaddha recognize his worth only through the voice of Jagjit Singh, and the screen portrayal of Naseeruddin Shah. Persuaded by the duo and in desperate need of recognition, Ghalib decides to ‘sell’ himself.
The consequent press conference turns out to be a damp squib with the journalists being more interested in post-conference snacks and juicy headlines. Ghalib then opts for an advertising agency to perpetuate his presence in the minds of the people. What is the fate of Ghalib? Does his rebirth spell further disaster? Are Delhi and India a mere travesty of his hopes and aspirations? The answer lies in watching Ghalib in New Delhi, a full blown laugh riot posing some serious questions about the stagnating codes.
The play features some of the prominent actors of the country; including Rahul Paswan, Aarifa Noori, Aman Jha and M Sayeed Alam with the last in the list playing the all important role of Mirza Ghalib etc. Reputed for his penchant for humorous historical and historic plays, Alam is also the writer and director of this play.
It is produced by Pierrot’s Troupe – the theater company credited with giving many new, original and entertaining productions to Hindi, Urdu and English theatre, including, Ghalib In New Delhi, Maulana Azad, Sons of Babur, 1947, Lal Qile Ka Aakhri Mushaera, Pakistan Aur Alzheimer’s, To Gandhi Ji With Spelling Mistakes, Akbar The Great Nahin Rahe to name a few.
The play will be staged at LTG Auditorium on March 7