ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Remarkable Career in the Theatre

Habib Tanvir could reconfigure the idea of the "political" through the minutest of gestures or linguistic and tonal inflections of speech, without any of the self-conscious radicalism of fist or flag-waving and declamatory sloganeering. Forever, Habib remained a refined storyteller who, in each retelling of a story, could find fresh and creative ways in which to mine it for a contemporary, current nuance, and repoliticise it.

W hen Habib Tanvir died on the early morning of June 8 in a Bhopal hospital after some three weeks of illness, the curtain came down on one of Indias most remarkable theatre careers. His productions, including Agra Bazaar, Mitti ki Gadi, Charandas Chor, Bahadur Kalarin, Shajapur ki Shantibai, Hirma ki Amar Kahani, Moteram ka Satyagraha, Dekh Rahe Hain Nain, Jis L ahore Nahi Vekhya Voh Janmya hi Nahi, Kamdev ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna and Raj Rakt, gave joy and delight to hundreds of thousands of spectators over the decades. S everal of these plays are considered classics of modern Indian theatre. Tributes are pouring in, and many have spoken of the very high artistic standards he achieved. Here, we shall only mention three aspects of his career that made it so very remarkable.

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