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NATWA’s premiere production, Prof. Mohan Maharishi’s translation of Shakespeare’s timeless play ‘Othello- Moor of Venice’ opened to spellbound audiences on 5th & 6th Novemeber 2005, at Sri Ram Centre, New Delhi. The 'magic' was reproduced on 1th, 12th and 13th November, 17th & 18th December and once again at the NSD festival on 13th January, 2006. The production’s unique set design and its 21 member cast, consisting mainly of NSD alumni, kept the audiences glued to the seats with pin drop silence .Delhi audiences were treated to the ‘never before experienced’ magic of theatre.
Mahendra Mewati’s portrayal of ‘Othello’, Shrivardhan Trivedi as Iago and Harvinder Kaur as Emilia along with the rest of the cast put up performances that parallel nearly the best in the world. This marks the beginning of professional theatre performances in Delhi.
Click here to see what the PRESS says about Othello


Aurangzeb was performed at the National School Of Drama Theatre festival:
Delhi: 8th January 2008 at
Kamani Auditorium
Mumbai: 15th January 2008 at Nehru Centre at 7:30 pm (tickets at venue)

Hindustani translation by
Shahid Anwar
Design & Direction
K. S. Rajendran
Executive Producer
Sanjiv Chopra

About the Play

NATWA- a Delhi Theatre Company which made a mark on the Delhi Theatre scene in 2005 through its innovative first production of OTHELLO, now through its 5th production promises the audiences a unique contemporary interpretation of the historical ‘AURANGZEB’.

Indira Parthasarathy’s AURANGZEB was originally written in Tamil in 1974 and performed between 1975 & 1989. It was translated into English by T. Sriraman and Shahid Anwar further translated the English version into Hindi/Urdu. K. S. Rajendran whose mother tongue is Tamil, chose to perform this play in Hindustani as he wanted the characters to come alive and create the period, in the language of the mughals. Delhi audiences may pleasantly recall the recent NSD student production ‘Panchali Shapatham’ directed by Rajendran which was performed in Therukkoothu style.


In this masterly analysis of the conflicts that haunt an astute politician amidst a crumbling empire, the playwright weaves his narrative from the intricate interplay of historical forces leading to the war of succession, and the ideologies and delusions that either make or mar the historical characters. In a decadent, bourgeois society, the opportunistic upper and military classes make the most of the situation in seeking, retaining and augmenting their own powers. Even the support of the two sisters Jahanara and Roshanara, each to her chosen brother, is seen to be part of the larger scheme of intrigues rampant in the Mughal chambers and courts. The historical matrix of the play provides a base for an exploration of the psyche of the characters, where latent fears and worries come to the fore as the situation becomes more and more grim. Written in 1974, a few months before the Emergency, and offering, among other things, a critique of the one nation-one language-one religion theory, Aurangzeb has even greater political and cultural relevance today.


When Emperor Shahjahan fell ill in 1657, a war of succession broke out among his four sons, Dara Shukoh, Shuja, Aurangzeb and Murad. The main contenders were Dara and Aurangzeb while Shahjahan’s two daughters Jahanara and Roshanara, supported Dara and Aurangzeb respectively. The Emperor himself lent his support to his eldest son Dara, who alone of the four brothers, was present at Agra and sympathetic to Shahjahan’s dream plan of building a black-marble-mahal for himself on the other side of Yamuna facing Mumtaz’s Tajmahal.

The play begins with the conversation between two of Aurangzeb’s spies in Agra Fort, who tell us of others spying on them, indicating Aurangzeb’s suspicious nature as well as his attempt to be in control. The play selects, telescopes and fuses events to capture the fissures as well as the peaks of a period of history. The war of succession to throne and issues and ideologies that the major players in the drama represent: Shahjahan symbolises a decadent, self-indulgent, romantic astheticism; Aurangzeb articulates and fiercely fights to establish an Islamic fundamentalist state; and Dara projects himself as a philosopher-statesman striving to preserve a pluralist society and nation. Shahjahan dreams about a balck-marble-mahal for himself, Aurangzeb dreams of ‘one nation, one language, one religion’, while Dara fears that Aurangzeb will destroy the precious heritage of Akbar.

The play has as its theme the struggles of mutually contradictory dispositions of the various characters: Shahjahan and Aurangzeb; Dara and Aurangzeb; Jahanara and Roshanara; and finally Aurangzeb versus Aurangzeb. Shahjahan lives in the past, Dara in the future, and Aurangzeb in the present. Aurangzeb’s success is the triumph of pragmatism but he has to pay dearly as we find him in the last scene sitting not on his Peacock throne but beside it on the floor. His loneliness becomes his tragedy. The play ends with him asking himself he question: ‘Am I a devout Muslim or a fanatic?’ He is left awaiting the judgement of history.


K. S. Rajendran teaches at National School of Drama and directs play- mainly in Tamil, as he prefers to do theatre in his mother-tongue—and occasionally in Hindi/English when the situation demands. A graduate of NSD, Rajendran worked with koothu-p-pattarai, Chenai based theatre repertory. He was a Fellow of the Tamil Nadu Council of Historical Research while working on a research project in 1985-1987: ‘Theatre of the Dravidian Movement’. His major productions include: Na. Muthuswamy’s ‘Kattiyakaran’ (for SNA); ‘Suvarottikal’; Brecht’s ‘Caucassian Chalk Circle’ and ‘Mother Courage’ (for Max Mueller Bhawan, Chenai); G’ Shankara Pillai’s ‘Moornu Panditharkal’; Vijay Tendulkar’s ‘Silence! The Court is in session’; Ionesco’s ‘The Lesson’; Denet’s ‘Deathwatch’; Seigfried Lenz’s ‘Gunah Begunah’ (for NSD); Indira Parthasarthy’s ‘Ramanujar’; C.S. Lakshmi’s (Ambai) ‘Nadi Paar’; ‘Tamil Ponnu’; Omchery’s ‘Kallan Kayariya Veedu’; ‘Nokku Kuthi Thyam’; Chandra Shekhar Kambar’s ‘Mahamayi’; H.S. Shiva Prakash’s ‘madhavi’; and Satish Alekar’s ‘Mahanirvan’. His production of Kalidasa’s ‘Malavikagnimitram’ (2005) and ‘Panchali Shapatham’ (2006) at NSD were highly acclaimed by critics and theatre lovers. He has been conductiond theatre workshops regularly in various parts of the country and abroad. He was the course director for the UNESCO workshop on Ancient Indian Drama’ held in Sinaia, Bucharest in 2006. Rajendran is also the editor of ‘Theatre India’, a prestigious theatre journal in English published by NSD.

Cast & Crew of AURANGZEB

ON STAGE (Main Cast)

Aurangzeb Mahendra Mewati (NSD Batch 1995)
Dara Shukoh Shrivardhan Trivedi (NSD Batch 1994)
Shahajahan Sanjay Goutam (NSD Batch 2001)
Roshanara Laxmi Rawat (NSD Batch 2006)
Jahanara Harvinder Kaur (NSD batch 1993 )


Hindustani Translation Shahid Anwar
Lights Ram Ji Bali (NSD Batch 2001)
Production Controller Renu S. Chopra

Executive Producer Sanjiv Chopra
Design & Direction K. S. Rajendran (NSD Batch 1984)

NATWA successfully performed its 2nd production ‘HO RAHEGA KUCHH NA KUCHH’ at SRC Delhi on 25-26 February 2006. Mohan Maharishi’s adaptation of Marsha Norman’s ‘Night Mother’ is a taut and fluid drama that deals with the ultimate existentialist issues. Performed by a two member NSD alumni cast, it forced the audience to honestly think about the meaning of life and the relationship of man with the sacred. The play subsequently was invited to NCPA Mumbai and was on show at the NCPA Experimental on 6-7 May 2006. The South Mumbai audiences were mesmerized by this unique play.

On 29-30 April 2006, NATWA invited Mumbai’s production ‘NIGHT SONG’ by Nakshatra & Actors’ Cult. NATWA chose to bring this play by the Mumbai based young NSD alumni to emphasize its credo of bringing good theme based theatre to Delhi audiences. Maneesh Verma had artistically adapted the original play, ‘Death and the Maiden’ in the context of Gujarat’s communal violence. This thriller was directed by Kalyani Hiwale. The play sensitively handled the issues of rape, communal violence and delicate relationships of those being minced by the turn of events. Delhi audiences were once again very appreciative of this NATWA presentation.

In September 2006, NATWA performed ‘RAAT BAAKI- a farcical comedy’, a unique adaptation of Peter Shaffer ‘Black Comedy’. The play is adapted and directed for NATWA by Chittaranjan Tripathy. This contemporary hindi adaptation of the social farce set the action in a 3 tenant house in a lower-middle class colony of Delhi, during an electrical blackout. The darkness, of course, exists only for the people onstage, since everything that happens after the electricity has gone, in the world of theatre, is performed in a blaze of stage. After 4 successful shows on 9-10 & 16-17 September, NATWA repeated RAAT BAAKI again to full houses on 4th & 5th November 2006.

NATWA- A Delhi Theatre Company (www.natwatheatre.com) Drama or Theatre has been an integral part of all societies worldwide through centuries. There is enough proof that theatre activities have slowly and steadily assisted in shaping the social and political architecture of organizations, cities, and countries. Governments and corporations in most countries recognize the role of theatre in society and have provided support to enable this inter-active art form to prosper.

NATWA Theatre Society, has been created by some eminent theatre persons and highly dedicated set of people from the corporate world. The primary objective of this group is to professionalise the theatre scene in the capital and generate employment opportunities for trained Actors and other Theatre Professionals. Theatre is widely acclaimed as an actors’ medium, and the joy for the spectators is very different than any other form of entertainment. It is common knowledge in India today, that most trained theatre actors are forced to seek employment in fields that do not directly relate to their field of specialization

NATWA endeavors to suitably remunerate its actors and make him/her responsible for creating quality entertainment for the public and thus help raising the quality expectations of the theatre audiences. NATWA Plans to mount a good theatrical performance in Delhi every three-four months so as to slowly build a repertory of its own which could continuously perform for the capital’s public. NATWA envisages that good quality Theatre would bring substantial change in the viewing public’s attitude towards theatre while giving actors and theatre professionals a serious opportunity to make a career in theatre itself. Based on its concerted actions to involve the viewers, in due course this National Theatre Workers Alliance intends revolutionizing the Theatre scene in Delhi.

NATWA’s coming together due to a common dream seen by a nucleus of three theatre lovers: Prof. Mohan Maharishi, an Eminent Theatre Person and a topmost Theatre Director; Sanjiv Chopra, a professional and successful General Manager with passion for theatre; and Shrivardhan Trivedi, an established Actor and TV Personality.

NATWA’s Corporate Partnership

NATWA has sought long-term partnership and collaboration with Delhi’s corporate world and other relevant organizations that share the dream of giving good theatre to an informed public. The restricted collaborations are being managed such that there are no conflicts between various partners. By becoming a corporate sponsor of NATWA Theatre Society, individual organizations get the opportunity to support the arts while enhancing company’s philanthropic involvement in the community and building corporate and brand visibility among targeted audiences. NATWA’s Corporate Partnership Program acts as an effective communication and marketing tool for the corporates while delivering opportunities for entertaining clients and employees.

Friends of NATWA

NATWA’s premier play ‘Othello’ received sponsorship from Jubilant, Nucleus Software and Hutch, with support by ICICI Bank and Usha-Lexus. For NATWA’s second play ‘Ho Rahega Kuch Na Kuch’, Nucleus once again was the main sponsor. While for the third production ‘Night Song’ from Mumbai, Usha-Lexus came forward with a helping hand. NATWA’s 4th production ‘Raat Baaki’ was once again through the support of Nucleus, Usha-Lexus & ICICI. NATWA proudly publishes and announces its collaborators at every opportunity. It is only through the support of such socially responsible organizations that theatre can thrive.

Coming Soon from NATWA
directed by Mohan Maharishi
(June 2010).