Last weekend in Bharat Nivas were held three presentations of the The Viziers of Bassora, a play that Sri Aurobindo wrote in 1905, during his stay in Baroda. The manuscript was seized by the police when he was arrested in 1908, and was considered lost until it was discovered in a cupboard and given to the Ashram many years later, after 1950. The source of the plot of The Viziers of Bassora is one of the numerous stories told in The Arabian Nights, entitled Nur al-Din Ali and the Damsel Anis al-Jalis.
The dualities that govern the lives of humans are played out: love and hate, self-giving and egoism, good and evil, high religious values and base desires, ambition and hypocrisy. The action takes place mainly in Bassora and Baghdad, in the second half of the 8th Century, at the time of the historical Caliph, Harun al Rashid, known as Harun the Just. This was a time of great achievements in the Arabic world, and the Baghdad of Harun was considered a city of great beauty, where respect and fairness for all governed the law.
Here short video excerpts of the play by Manohar, and’here’s a photo gallery by Ireno Guerci.