Life in Gurgaon

Gurugram, relive Gandhi’s era with this Hindi play in town

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Gurugrammers, travel back in time with the Hindi play Mohan Se Mahatma, which depicts Mahatma Gandhi’s life during 1915-1919. The play traces Gandhi’s transformation into India’s principal political figure, and highlights the contributions of the commoners in the Indian freedom movement.

The play begins with 60-year-old Gandhi penning his autobiography, wherein he introduces the comparatively younger Gandhi during the Lucknow session of 1916.

Writer and director of the play, M Sayeed Alam shares that seeing a billboard depicting 70-year-old Gandhi during the Champaran Satyagraha in Bihar made him conceptualise the play.

Alam says, “This year happens to be the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji. We always talk about the later years of his association with the freedom movement and not the initial years. During those early days, he really got in touch with the masses, which helped him turn the Indian freedom movement to a mass movement.”

Alam, who also portrays the 47-year-old Gandhi in the play, calls the adaption “challenging and entertaining”. He adds, “It was interesting to showcase a 47-year-old Gandhi and a 23-year-old Dr Rajendra Prasad (India’s first President). It introduces the Gandhi that we are not that familiar with. It is about his early years into Indian politics and how his entry changed the course of the freedom movement of India.”

Ravi Raj Sagar, who plays the role of 60-year-old Gandhi, says, “Preparing for the role involved reading about Gandhiji and watching videos to understand his character. He took responsibility for the problems of the nation but kept a cheerful countenance. It’s challenging to play a role that many good actors have already done, but also fascinating to play him writing his autobiography which is not something many actors have attempted.”

On bringing the play to Gurugram, he says, “There haven’t been many plays in Gurugram. People usually travel to Delhi, and not many know that Epicentre has re-opened. Hence, we thought of bringing it to Gurugram first.”