Charan Das Sidhu sweeps away the chaff to reach to the soul of Mirza Ghalib in his play “Ghalib-e-Azam.”
“In recent years, we have seen several plays and a few serials on Mirza Ghalib. They have caricaturised a great poet by focusing on his relationship with courtesans and their coquetry, Ghalib's drinking and gambling habits interspersed with his popular ghazals. I was pained to see them and decided to project the real personality of the great poet in the context of his troubled personal life and the history and culture of his times. For five years, I studied works by Indian as well as foreign scholars on Ghalib and finally completed the project,” says Charan Das Sindhu, author of 36 plays. “Ghalib-e-Azam,” his latest offering, was premiered at Shri Ram Centre recently under the direction of Ravi Taneja, his son-in-law.
Endowed with a unique creative vision, he writes in Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi with equal felicity. His Ghalib is a great poet and a great man who suffered one heartbreak after another and was betrayed by his close relatives. “The death of one child is too much of a shock that breaks one's heart. Ghalib lost seven children when they were in their infancy but he endured all this displaying great fortitude, sharing these deeply tragic moments with his dear wife Umaro Jaan,” says the playwright. “To add to his woes, he had to look after his mentally ill brother — who is said to have been killed by a British soldier during the 1857 revolt.”
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