Shatranj ke Khiladi (The Chess Players)

Shatranj ke Khiladi (The Chess Players), a 1977 film by Satyajit Ray based on a short story of Premchand wanders around the chess board, the Royals of Lucknow and their Royal customs, the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah and the emerging political chaos in the Awadh. The king is busy in his fondness for arts, music but administration of his state, as the story reflects and General Outram is making plans to uproot the king from his kingdom. The film beautifully covers the culture and customs of Awadh, but, simultaneously, it shows the irresponsible behaviour of its Elites who are busy with their chess board while Lucknow is being looted by the British Sepoys. Several stories are emerging as the reel moves on, unhappy Begum of Mirza Sajid Ali, Wife of Mir Roshan is having an affair with a lad while Mir sahab is busy in
his chess, the King is getting threats from Company Bahadur. But The film gives mesmerizing glimpses of Avadhi Tahzeeb, culture and customs, its language and the manners of hospitality. Another attraction of this film is the Thumri "kanha Main Tose Hari" in the melodious voice of Birju Mahraaj, lyrics by Bindadin Mahraaj and music by Satyajit Ray. Here it is a scene from the film.... 
 Begum : Maqbool! 
 Maqbool (Servant) : Sarkar? 
Begum : nawab sahab aa gaye? 
Maqbool: Han Sarkar 
Begum: Akele hain ? 
Maqbool : Naahin Sarkar, Meer Sahab sang maa hain 
Begum: Shatranj to nahin khel rahey?
Maqbool : khelat hain. Par mohran sang naahin, neembu supari sang... 
Maqbool Murmurs : kauun jaane satranj maa kauun jadu hai.

If you want to revisit the glorious culture of Awadh, you should watch this movie once if you have not seen it yet.


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