WATCH MUGHAL HIS­TORY UN­FOLD

Sal­man Khur­shid talks about the pop­u­lar play, Sons of Babur, which has been writ­ten by him, and will once again be staged in the Cap­i­tal

HT City - - MY CITY - Ruchika Garg ■ ruchika.garg@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Be­sides be­ing a sharp lawyer and politi­cian, noted au­thor Sal­man Khur­shid is also our for­mer for­eign min­is­ter. But did you know that he is also a theatre per­son­al­ity? Yes, back in his Delhi Univer­sity days in St. Stephen’s Col­lege, he did do theatre.

He shares, “I was a stu­dent of theatre in my col­lege days and I am aware of the theatre tech­niques.” His as­so­ci­a­tion with theatre doesn’t end there. The pop­u­lar play, Sons of Babur, which has been staged at the Red Fort with late ac­tor Tom Al­ter in the lead, has been au­thored by Khur­shid.

The Mughal Em­pire is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant ones in the his­tory of In­dian sub­con­ti­nent. The cul­ture, tra­di­tions and their rule has had quite an im­pact on how the present shaped up. Hav­ing trav­elled the length and breath of the coun­try, the play will once again be staged in the Cap­i­tal.

Khur­shid, who likes to read about Ba­hadur Shah Za­far, his po­etry and his­tor­i­cal fam­ily back­ground, says, “There are lakhs of books writ­ten about him and his era that in­cludes some of the best-sell­ers. I had been read­ing them since a stu­dent and thought to come out with some­thing dif­fer­ent and wrote this play.

“The sto­ries about Babur and his sons are 200 years old. To make them rel­e­vant to­day, I have put var­i­ous per­spec­tives of iden­tity, re­li­gion, pa­tri­o­tism and gen­der is­sue in it. I be­lieve, that women in the times of Mughal era also played a ma­jor role and the play talks about it too. Ba­si­cally, it cov­ers all modern day is­sues.”

The play was writ­ten in English, and later trans­lated into Hindi and other lan­guages. “It took me 2-3 years to write it. I have re­ceived an ap­plause from Chen­nai, Bom­bay, Cal­cutta and all other places where it was pre­miered.” Pier­rot’s Troupe is stag­ing the play in the Cap­i­tal this Sun­day. Di­rec­tor M Say­eed Alam, who has helmed some of the most pop­u­lar Urdu plays, says, “This play cov­ers the en­tire his­tory of Mughals. It moves forth and back to three dif­fer­ent eras. It beau­ti­fully talks about the ar­rival of Babur and the exit of Ba­hadur Shah Za­far.”

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