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History comes alive on stage

Little has been said or heard about Bhamasha, a historical figure whose contribution to the war against the Mughals has been phenomenal. He was an advisor to Maharana Pratap, and also fought several battles for safeguarding Mewar. Recreating his history and contributions on stage is the Hindi play, Bhamasha, which premieres on Republic Day at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA).


Stills from the rehearsals of Bhamasha

“I wanted to explore the Veer ras (element of bravery) on stage, which is an aspect of theatre that I have not tackled,” reveals director Manoj Shah, who has been active in the field of theatre for over three decades.

Talking about how the play was conceptualised, he says, “I was talking to a friend from Rajasthan about three years ago and I felt that I wanted to explore the Marwar community, their colours and their folk tales. I spoke to writer Mihir Bhuta and thus, work on the play started.”

The play has been produced by Dr Bipin Doshi, a Jain scholar who has done extensive research on Bhamasha. “Mihir, Dr Doshi and I started exploring the idea for the play 10 months ago and it soon took shape,” adds Shah.

The play not just looks at the history of Bhamasha, but also traces the history of the Haldighati war, the legendary exploits of Maharana Pratap and the Mughal and Mewar history beautifully comes alive on stage. “The play also looks at the pre and post war periods of the Haldighati struggle, which was a very important part of our history,” reveals Bhuta, who started working on the script eight months back.

“During the research phase, I came to know a lot of facts that I did not know before. I was surprised when I learnt that Maharana Pratap once wanted to surrender to Akbar. That’s something not many people know about. The play will highlight such facts as to what led to his change of mind and how the Haldighati struggle ended,” adds Bhuta.

Interestingly, the narration of the play is by Om Puri and voiceover by Yashpal Sharma, which is bound to make the play even more captivating for the audience.

On January 26, 7 pm At Tata Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point. Call 28939541 

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