The musicals of ‘Inderman ka Akhada’ and Srikrishna Pehelwan

Natharam has more than 200 musicals to his name. However, most of them were actually written by Ustad Inderman, Chiranjilal and Roopram. By 1920, all three had died. That was why all the plays that were published subsequently carried the name of Natharam Sharma Gaud as the writer, writes Kanwal Bharti

The folk artistes of Haryana have preserved the “ragini” style of singing and are trying to popularize it. However, they have failed to save “saang”, which has most probably become extinct. Similarly, “nautanki” of Uttar Pradesh and “khayal” or “khel” of Rajasthan may have disappeared. However, I may be wrong.  

But there was a time when saang and nautanki were immensely popular. In the latter half of the 19th century, two forms of folk musical theatre were dominant in north India – Rajasthani khayal or khel and Hindustani “saangeet” or saang. Prahlad Saangeet (1866) and Gopichand Bharthari (1867) are among the oldest books on Rajasthani saang available in the British Library. Both the books are authored by Laxman Das. The books were published on popular demand after the staging of these musicals. Both were published from Delhi.

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