"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

SAHIR KA KHAYAL AAYA - The play that thankfully tries to present something fresh moving ahead of the routine repetitions. (Notes by Bobby Sing)

09 Mar, 2021 | Articles on Music, Poetry and Life

After around 15 years of internet ruled by the social networking platforms (actually gaining a worldwide reach from 2010 onwards), the one thing that has now become a curse for both the readers and the writers is the REPETITION found in every other write-up/video talking about the same old things in a similar manner offering nothing new.
So this year, when almost every web-portal, publication, and organization related to entertainment and Hindi film music was ready to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi on 8th March 2021, I was quite disappointed as almost everyone was repeating the same old things, in the same old tone without even trying to bring out something fresh still unexplored or lesser talked about the legendary poet and his works.
To be honest, I was not interested in reading or watching yet another write-up or presentation focusing on the already known and celebrated facts of Sahir’s famous songs, affairs, rivalries, or controversies of his professional life. Thus, wrote about one of his personal favourites yet the most ignored or lesser talked about song “Tere Bachpan Ko Jawaani Ki Dua Deti Hun” in my heartfelt write-up on the occasion.
The article can be read at the following link :
The write-up gave me enough creative satisfaction to be honest, which later got enhanced to many folds when I, fortunately, witnessed a courageous and experimental play remembering the legend aptly titled Sahir Ka Khayal Aaya staged by Pierrot’s Troupe on 7th March 2021 in Delhi’s LTG Auditorium. Produced by Sundeep Pahwa (reviving his family tradition of producing films), the play was written-directed by the renowned Dr. M. Sayeed Alam in his unique style. 
The best thing about the presentation was that it neither talked about the famous films related to the poet nor his love-affairs or conflicts, avoiding all the deliberate references to engage the viewers. It neither talked about any controversy nor tried to present the poet as some kind of God of his art or the best of them all becoming biased. But above all, the producer and director together experimented as probably never tried before presenting Sahir on stage with a mono-act play featuring only one actor.
So ‘Sahir Ka Khayal Aaya”–the play - is all about Sahir writing and reciting his celebrated poem/nazm PARCHHAIYAN, which is his longest and perhaps the longest in Urdu poetry to date. Thoughtfully penned by the progressive poet as an anti-war poem, it questions the people in power and society together with no holding back. 
Interestingly, Sahir wrote Parchhaiyyan when he was just 28 and co-incidentally the same is the age of Sharique Aziz, the actor playing his role in the play. Sharique beautifully enacts the creative process of writing the nazm on stage with a worth-noticing throw in his voice. But the actor deserves even bigger praise for memorizing such long poetry and presenting it before the audience without even a single-halt or fumble in around 75 minutes.
However, since Sahir cannot be differentiated from the Hindi film songs, he is largely known for, the director conceived the play as a musical blend of drama and songs together, incorporating a few famous songs in the narration too, sung by Abhinav Chaturvedi (Nanhe from Hum Log–now active in the theater), Naveen Anand from Ibaadat Foundation and Poonam Talwar. Continuing with the experimental tone, the songs are all sung in the unplugged mode with no music, with the singers not even getting the clue of any ‘sur/note’ to begin their renditions (which is a compliment for them all).
The major drawback of the attempt remains its format itself of a ‘monologue’ entirely based on only one poem that might not excite or engage a good percentage of viewers. But that never is of any concern of people who feel the urge to do something different, away from the routine, and have the guts to do it too with their limited resources reaching their kind of audience.
In all, ‘Sahir Ka Khayal Aaya' remains an honest and novel attempt to bring in literature, revolutionary thoughts, songs, and romance together on stage like never before and that too with only one actor alone with no live or recorded music. An attempt that deserves appreciation and support from the viewers to keep it going, this should be seen whenever it gets staged in Delhi or your city again in the coming days.

Bobby Sing

9th March 2021

Tags : Sahir Ka Khayal Aaya Stage Play Review by Bobby Sing, Celebrating 100 years of Sahir, Sahir 100th birth anniversary article by Bobby Sing
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