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Musing 190: Radheyshaym meets Agha Hashr, Bharat 28 Lata Nashad

Agha Hashr Kashmiri, Pandit Radheyshyam Kathavachak and Pandit Narayan Prasad Betab were the three stalwarts of the Parsi theater that was the main mass entertainment media in the early 20th century. Here Radheyshyam describes his first meeting with Hashr, where he learnt that just once scene in a play can be worth the whole play. BTW, the drama mentioned here was eventually called Bilwamangal and is still played regularly during the Ramlila season. I remember the particular line cited always got huge clapping in Ludhiana in the late 50s.

Pandit Radheshyam Kathavachak writes,

In Kanpur I saw Agha Hashr for the first time. He had come to sell his drama ‘soordas’ for Rs 1000 to the company. During the reading of the drama, Hashr invited me also. And he said to me very politely, “I am a Muslim, my language is Urdu, this is a religious drama and it has Hindi in it. If you find an error, please let me know without hesitation.” When he read it, I learnt that Hashr sahib is very clever in talking and selling his wares. Right in front of me, Sorabji told him – your one scene alone is worth Rs 1000 - where Chintamani says to Bilwamangal - “You love me so much, if you had loved God so much, you would have attained Nirvana”.

Now you know!

Bharat 28 Lata Naashaad



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