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Daily Pakistan
November 7, 2021 at 8:00:00 PM
‘Ghalib in New Delhi’ wows packed audience at SIBF 2021

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‘Ghalib in New Delhi’ wows packed audience at SIBF 2021

SHARJAH - What happens when one of India’s most celebrated poets time  travels and jumps straight out of the 18th century to land in the  present-day world? Pandemonium and laughter ensue, of course!

This is what a packed audience of theatre-goers discovered at the  staging of one of India’s most popular comedic plays, ‘Ghalib in New  Delhi’, at the 40th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).

“Our  biggest challenge was to evoke the right emotions and spirit of the  audience while keeping the humour alive and roaring,” said Dr M. Sayeed  Alam, the director and playwright who also plays the role of the  protagonist, Mirza Ghalib, the famous court poet of the last Mughal  emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.

“It  was a relief, in the end, to be able to pull it off with ease on such a  huge platform [SIBF] before a diverse and discerning crowd,” added Dr  Alam, who has in the past led the Pierrot’s Troupe to stage his play  across the UK and USA. “Performing on SIBF’s globally-acclaimed cultural  stage is both a great honour and privilege,” added Alam a successful  close of the production, which is said to be India’s longest-running  comedic play that has been staged over 500 times since 1997.

‘Ghalib in New Delhi’ chronicles the travails of Mirza Ghalib as he  revisits his beloved city with high hopes of savouring his posthumous  poetic legacy, only to find it damaged and misinterpreted by Indian  subcontinent's top mainstream celebrities – from Bollywood’s Salman  Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal to retired cricketers like  Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi and Virender Sehwag from both India and  Pakistan.

The plot revolves around Ghalib striving against an  ever-present identity crisis, beginning with the loss of his haveli  (ancestral bungalow) to new occupants, to people mistaking the revered  poet for a djinn.

Desperate times call for desperate measures,  and Ghalib decides to ‘sell’ or market himself in one last-ditched  attempt at restoring his lost glory. He appoints an agency for the job  with the clarity that what it gives him shouldn’t be cheap publicity.  This leads to some stark, thought-provoking observations on present-day  mores and ethics.

More such thought-provoking and masterfully presented stage shows, plays  and concerts will be taking the SIBF 2021 stage until November 13 in  Expo Centre Sharjah.

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