Hamlet in Hindi

It is heartening to read that Samooh Theatre presented Hindi translation of the world famous Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet at the Abhinav Theatre, Jammu,as a part of Classic Theatre Festival.The fact that the Hindi translation of Hamlet, was done by Harivanshrai Bachchan, a renowned writer, who inspite being a doctorate in  English from Cambridge University, wrote in Hindi with equal ease and has composed and translated immortal works.Infact, it was way back in the nineteen eighties that I chanced to read his Hindi translation of Shakespeare’s famous play’Othello’ and I developed interest in Shakespeare, which has lasted since then.Shakespeare’s plays, especially the tragedies such as Hamlet,Othello, King Lear, Macbeth etc. are classic in themselves, presenting various aspects of life through diverse and lively characters.
They have a universal appeal and have been translated into many languages of the world.Hamlet is said to have been inspired by Shakespeare’s son Hamnet who died at the age of 11. It was among Shakespeare’s most successful works in his lifetime and has been the most performed play even today.It is said that this play is performed every minute everyday somewhere in the world.It is believed that Shakespeare himself played the role of the  ghost when it was performed for the first time in the theatre ‘the Globe’.This play has added phrases such as ‘to be or not to be’, ‘the primrose path’, ‘cruel to be kind’, ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’ etc which have enriched English language.Moreover, this play is famous for his soliloquies.So the presentation of Hamlet in Jammu in Hindi  is surely a feast to the eyes and ears of the viewers.Even in India, a film based on Hamlet’ Haider’ has been produced in Bollywood.The fact that this was the fourth performance of the play in recent months in Jammu, speaks volume about the tireless efforts of the group and tremendous popularity of Shakespearean art and wit in Jammu.
Yours etc….
Ashok Sharma,