\ Bay Bahurupi - ShahJahan Play History

Bay Bahurupi presents
Shah Jahan
History of the Play

The Play:
ShahJahan was first staged in 1910 in Kolkata.

Later, Dr. Shishir Bhaduri staged this play as well in 1925.
Apart from the record breaking play "Seeta", ShahJahan was one of his most popular play along with "Alamgeer" and "Mantrashakti"

ShahJahan has been translated in Hindi, Kannada and staged in various places through-out India.
For an example, far away from New Delhi, where decisions about Indian culture are becoming increasingly centralised, there is a relatively unknown village called Heggoddu in the Shimoga district of Karnataka. Secluded amidst paddy fields and the area's hut plantations, this village is perhaps best known for an institution called Ninasam, which administers a theatre school, a repertory company, a film society, and a workshop unit that has spread theatre and film culture to all nineteen districts of Karnataka. K V Subbanna, the modest visionary who has been the guiding spirit of Ninasam was performing the play ShahJahan since 1940, even today, periodically.

Various groups in Bangladesh including Nagarik Natya Sampraday have staged ShahJahan.

More recently, In 2004, A theatre group in Kolkata called NatyaRanga produced ShahJahan. Directed by Swapan Sengupta and edited by Surajit Banerjee, this play, with Gautam Halder, Surajit Bandopadhyay and Bijoylakshmi Barman comprised the cast.

The Playwright:
Dwijendralal Roy(1863-1913) - Poet, playwright and lyricist.

Dwijendralal wrote ShahJahan in 1909. He became the editor of the monthly Bharatvarsa in 1913. Dwijendralal had a literary bent of mind and started writing poems while still in his teens. His books are collections of poems and songs: Aryagatha (part 2, 1894), Hasir Gan (1900), Mandra (1902), Alekhya (1907), and Triveni (1912). His sketches and satires include Ekghare (1889), Samaj Bibhrat O Kalki Avatar (1895), Tryahasparsha (1900), Prayashchitta (1902), and Punarjanma (1911). He also wrote plays, many of which are included in university syllabi. Among his mythical plays are Pasani (1900), Sita (1908) and Visma (1914). His social plays include Parapare (1912) and Banganari (1916). He also wrote a number of historical plays: Tarabai (1903), Rana Pratapsingh (1905), Mebar Patan (1908), Nurjahan (1908), Sajahan (1909) and Chandragupta (1911). Most of his plays were successfully staged in Kolkata and elsewhere. He is specially remembered for his historical plays.

Dwijendragiti are the Bangla songs composed by Dwijendralal Roy. Dwijendralal composed about five hundred songs on different topics. Initially his songs were known as Dwijubabu's songs, but became known subsequently as Dwijendragiti.

Dwijendralal's first collection of songs was Aryagatha, the themes of these songs are the beauty of nature, a romantic agony, devotion to God and patriotism.

The songs collected in the second part of Aryagatha, include several love songs, written to his wife, Surabala Devi. A number of these songs are composed in kirtan style. Some of these songs combine western tunes with Bangla lyrics. The song 'kemane tui re Jamuna pulin' borrows the tune of a Scottish song, 'Ye banks and braes'. Similarly, 'jao jetha jash achhe' is based on the Irish tune of 'Go where glory awaits thee'.
Inspired by the anti-British movement and the swadeshi movement, Dwijendralal also composed many patriotic, nationalistic and satirical songs. One such song, , is (Virtues of Nandalal). In this song he exposed the real character of the selfish politicians and rebuked them for deceiving the people under the pretext of service to the motherland.
Among the popular patriotic songs composed by Dwijendralal are 'Banga amar janani amar' (O Bengal of mine, my motherland), 'Dhanadhanya puspabhara' ([My land], abounding with wealth and grain). As in his earlier songs, in these songs as well Dwijendralal combined western music with Indian raga. 'Dhanadhanya puspabhara,' for instance, is based upon the Kedara Raga, but the line 'se amar janmabhumi (It's my motherland), with three types of musical tempo, imitates the English music pattern. Dwijendralal's satirical songs include 'Nandalaler Gun', ridiculing selfish politicians and so-called patriots of the time.
The antipathy of Dwijendralal towards the colonial rulers was mingled with his uncommon musical talent, and this is reflected in many of his patriotic songs. However, he did not reject the west totally as revealed in his melding Bangla lyric and western music. Dwijendralal's songs, characterised by truth and beauty and a sense of joy, have become a part of the Bangla tradition.

And Now, DwijendraLal's Shahjahan is HERE. With all its elements of Conspiracy, murder and vengeance With valor, compassion, Helplessness and the voice of conscience With Romance, Comedy and the eternal humane essence. Imbibed with beautiful music and dance of the period.

For the first time in Bay area, Bay Bahurupi presents this magnificent classic in a grandeur presentation with spectacular sets, lights and music to re-create the history, to capture the time, one of the most critical time of Indian political mosaic through the abstract mirror of this timeless wonder- SHAH JAHAN

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