A sneak peek into Ghalib`s letters

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2010, 15:35 PM IST

New Delhi: Come Sunday and Delhiites will have a rare insight into the personal letters that legendary poet Mirza Ghalib wrote to his friends, disciples, relatives and even government authorities.

‘Ghalib Ke Khat’ by Delhi-based Pierrot`s Troupe is unique in the sense that it does not feature the Urdu poet reading or writing his letters.

"Instead the people those received Ghalib`s letters will read them out. His much-celebrated letters are read and reviewed by his wife, Umrao Begum, his maid, Wafadar, and his disciples and friends, including the legendary Har Gopal Taftah," says writer-director of Pierrot`s Troupe, M Sayeed Alam.

"This is also for the first time that Tom Alter is not playing the role of Ghalib in our production. Tom portrays the role of Har Gopal Taftah in this play," Alam told reporters.

"The audience will be introduced to a good number of leading literary lights and public personalities of Ghalib`s era, for the first time," he says.

The play is anchored by Ghalib`s much forgotten wife, Umrao Begum, who was often at the `receiving end` of his penchant and passion for letter writing, Ghalib was a prolific writer of letters. His over 800 letters not only provide a unique insight into his life and life style, but are also a running commentary on day to day socio-political as well as cultural affairs of one of the most turbulent periods of Indian history - much of the 19th century.

According to Alam, the play uses a good number of these letters to a great effect, painting, in the process, an "ordinary man of extraordinary wit and intelligence" and
portraying a period that actually marked the end of an era and the beginning of another.

The play is presented by 12 reputed actors from Delhi and Mumbai.

PTI