Published: 02nd March 2018
'The Troth', inspired by Hindi classic 'Usne Kaha Tha' pays a tribute to Indian war heroes in WWI
The new play by the Akademi, London is marking the centenary of World War I with an adaptation of a short story recognising the Indian soldiers who died fighting for the Allies
Inspired by a gripping Hindi short story, The Troth—Usne Kaha Tha tells a story of love, loss and sacrifice against the backdrop of the horror and conflict of World War I. Produced by The Akademi, London under Mira Kaushik, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and Director of Akademi, The Troth reveals the contribution of Indian soldiers to the Allied war. The film received an astounding response when it was showcased through a dance performance at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi last month.
"The Troth is inspired by Chandradhar Sharma Guleri’s Hindi short story ‘Usne Kaha Tha’ written in 1915. This classic is considered to be the first short story of Hindi literature. Many in India have read it while growing up, including me," says Mira.
Big name: The dance was choreographed by Gary Clarke, an award-winning director, and choreographer
The story (written in 1915 by Chandradhar Sharma Guleri), moves from the intense life and colour of rural India to the horrific darkness of the trenches in Belgium where young Indian men have been brought to fight for the Allied Forces. "As the plot builds, we know about the secret promise made by Sardar Lehna Singh, a soldier as he makes the ultimate sacrifice to save another.
The play was also hosted at the Jaipur Literary Fest and turned out to be a major highlight. It was also hosted in four other cities viz, New Delhi, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Kurukshetra. "This is the first time Akademi, and for that matter, a British production house has brought a dance show to tour smaller cities of India. It was a challenging yet fulfilling journey where we got the opportunity to perform at Zee Jaipur Literature Festival. The response from the audience was gratifying and we had oversubscribed shows in all these locations. It became an even more memorable experience for us when we were invited to perform at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in front of the President and his guests. Now our spirits soar high as we return to tour this show in the UK," she adds.