Showing posts from June, 2010

BEGUM SUMROO by PARTAP SHARMA - published by IdeaIndia.Com

© Partap Sharma 2004
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The play is set in the late eighteenth century during the decline of the Moghul empire when Shah Alam was emperor and India swarmed with a variety of European mercenary soldiers and adventurers. They came to make their fortunes by taking part in the power-struggles that were going on. The play focuses first, on a military brigade led by a Swiss German soldier-of-fortune named Col. Walter Reinhardt Sombre. It was one of the best-trained brigades and had a component of 273 Europeans, many of them deserters from the British and other European armies, along with 2,700 Indian soldiers. They were a tough lot who demanded loyalty – and wages – by the roughest means. Col. Sombre came to be known in India as ‘Sumroo’ through a mispronounciation of his last name.
The play shows how an extremely capable Indian woman, with humble beginnings as an impoverished danci…