A timeless Hindi classic graces stage

The classic movie Mughal-e-Azam turned into a spectacular stage musical for audiences all over India. The timeless love story of Prince Salim and the courtesan Anarkali, played by Dilip Kumar and Madhubala in the film, was a tribute to the original masterpiece by K. Asif. For the love of this beautiful young woman, Salim rebelled and went to war against his father, Emperor Akbar. Directed by Feroz Abbas Khan, the play went housefull in every show. It’s one of the few grand-scale Broadway musicals coming from India and has garnered much acclaim not only from the masses but also from Bollywood celebrities who attended the show.

For the new generation that has heard but perhaps not watched the film, this production was a great way to introduce them to Salim-Anarkali's heart-wrenching love saga. The new tribute had all the dramatic elements one wants from a musical – thunderous dialogues, melodious songs and mesmerising dance sequences, all performed magnificently well by a staggering cast and crew of over 300 people. Since the script is in Urdu, there were LED screens displaying summarised English subtitles of the dialogues, for those who have trouble understanding the language. The live performances of Mughal-e-Azam’s hit songs, including the evergreen Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, transported the spectators back to the nostalgic era.The casting director accomplished the overwhelming task of getting actors who could sing and dance, while celebrity fashion designer, Manish Malhotra's glamourous costumes and the lavish sets by award-winning technicians made the play look ethereal.