The plays of Rabindranath Tagore, performed in different languages, have become an integral part of our cultural life, inspiring writers, filmmakers and academics. But because of a lack of translation and fear of inaccessibility, many of his stories have remained away from people.
A moment from the play Kabuliwala
To bridge this gap, Mumbai-based theatre group, Ideal Drama and Entertainment, have translated his popular short stories and reworked them into plays, which they have been performing for the series, Namaskar Main Rabindranath Tagore Hoon. The latest offerings of the series are two plays, Kabuliwala and Dhan Ki Bhent to be performed at The Hive today. Mujeeb Khan, who has directed the plays, says that the response, so far has been quite exciting and he hopes this process introduces people to works of Tagore beyond what is taught in schools. The task, though, has been challenging. “We have tried to retain the flavour of Tagore’s language; its poetic essence. One needs to be been careful to not let any slang or colloquialism enter the script when working on Tagore,” he says, adding, “It is worth the effort making people aware of the works of the most versatile literary figure of India, who has now been reduced to Gitanjali.”
Rabindranath Tagore. Pic/Getty Images
He says that the selection of stories was on the basis of what would appeal to people today. “The greatness of Tagore lies in his several works that are timeless and would appeal to people even several years from now. We have chosen stories that explore human emotions. The story of Kabuliwala is a fascinating bond between a little girl from a middle-class family and a dry-fruit seller from Afghanistan. Dhan Ki Bhent is about a man’s greed that leads to the death of his grandson. Such stories can be bound by no timeframe,” he says. The writer-director, who has staged 311 of the 315 stories of Munshi Premchand, apart from works Kabirdas, Ghalib, Ismat Chugtai and Krishna Chandra, hopes to stage a complete play on Gitanjali too.
On: Today, 8 pm onwards
At: The HIVE, 50 - A, Huma Mansion, Khar (W)
Log on to: bookmyshow.com
Cost: Rs 300