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Dastan-e-Raag Darbari

Dastan-e-Raag Darbari

Drama | Urdu, Persian | 1hr 30mins

An adaptation in the ‘Dastangoi’ format of Rag Darbari, one of the greatest satires ever composed in modern India. Shri Lal Shukla’s novel of the same name was published fifty years ago and was instantly recognized as a classic for its savage portrayal of life in a village and its politics. For its wit, humour, and its ability to demolish all the shibboleths and pieties of a stifling rural existence, the novel remains unparalleled. Rag Darbari’s influence on Hindi literary culture is widely acknowledged, but its influence on popular culture is also significant. Like the film ‘Sholay’, its characters, its one-liners, and its portrayals have produced diehard fans, who sometimes know entire passages by heart. The dastan draws on the works of Shri Lal Shukla, the legendary Hindi poet Nagarjuna, the medieval Urdu satirists Zatalli and Sauda, the philosophers Plato, Machiavelli, and Ibn-e Khaldoun, and modern poets such as Kedarnath Singh and Faiz. Above all, it draws on the writings of the greatest modern Urdu humourist Mushtaq Ahmed Yusufi to weave a tale that speaks of our times and of Shukla’s.

An India Habitat Centre Presentation.


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