Historicizing Ebrahim Alkazi’s Hiroshima With 1970 Production Brochure
“A person belongs to a given time, but the world changes in time, and he changes with it. The world changes him, but he along with others, also changes the world. Herein lies his power. He is a product of a particular society in a particular period, but he can influence the change of that society by every single choice he makes, alone. The choices made, the actions taken by many many people like him ultimately change the world, for better or for worse.”
– Badal Sircar, Maulana Abdul Kalam Memorial Lecture, 1982 (reproduced in Enact magazine, March-April, 1982)
Written in the devastating aftermath of the Indo-Pak war of 1965 and a looming Cold War, Badal Sircar’s proscenium play, Teesveen Shatabdi (1966), opens with the protagonist Sharad helplessly arguing with an unseen force from the 30th century and pleading innocence for the mess of the world and subsequently conducting a mock trial calling up the spirits of people associated with the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In 1970, the NSD Repertory Company produced a version of the play called ‘Hiroshima: A Documentary’. The play, directed by Ebrahim Alkazi, was closely studied by Sircar and the brochure notes: “He felt that our production projected in essence the play he had originally written and that, while providing a different dramatic structure, and giving additional information it has no way altered its meaning.”Historicizing Ebrahim Alkazi’s Hiroshima With 1970 Production Brochure
Courtesy: Alkazi Theatre Archives