'Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein' Revived after 23 Years

New Delhi
'Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein' Revived after 23 Years

Mystic poet Kabir Das is being brought alive through a play by noted theatre artiste M K Raina, who is returning with a popular 1980s production on the Bhakti saint.

Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein (In the Market stands Kabir), which toured different parts of the country in the 80s and 90s was first penned by the iconic Hindi writer-playwright Bhisham Sahni.

The production has been revived after a gap of 23 years by director Raina for the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), which is paying tribute to Sahini, whose birth centenary is being celebrated this year.

Recounting anecdotes from Kabir's life, the production set in Varanasi in straight narrative form expresses revulsion against untouchability and religious exclusivism.

Raina, who has staged the play more 100 times across India, in the three decades that followed since its debut in 1982, says that there cannot be a better tribute to Sahni, one of the most celebrated playwrights of post-independent India.

Kabir's verses, which were an uncompromising rejection of the tyranny of fundamentalism and ritualistic obscurantism, according to Raina, are equally relevant today.

"This play is timeless. It deals with issues that are pertinent in the present. It depicts the universal truth of humanity while conveying what the world today needs," he adds.

In the absence of halls and auditoriums, street theatre became the biggest weapon of the poor. With the natural architecture as the background, it was the easiest way to connect to people and make their voices heard, says the veteran director.

The two-hour-long play, which returns with a new cast and fresh music, is set to be performed here on April 14 to coincide with the 27th National Street Theatre Festival.


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