Often defined as among the marvels of the world, the stunning 17th Century white marble Taj Mahal was developed by Mughal emperor shaman Jahan as a mausoleum because that his beloved mam Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth.

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But a brand-new play which recently premiered in India provides a dramatic and also unexpected twisted to historical events. The manufacturing of shah Jahan-o-Mumtaz says that every was not well in the lovers' paradise and questions the motive behind the structure of the Taj.

The beat was initially written in English in the 1970s together the story of the Taj by Dilip Hiro, a London-based author, playwright and also expert on international affairs.

"Conflict is the driving pressure in mine script," grandfather Hiro said the londonchinatown.org. And also here, that explores "the conflict in between the couple whose mutual love is embossed on the famous psyche".

"As an Indian, one is mesmerised through the Taj. The conventional story behind it is shah Jahan's eternal love for Mumtaz.

"To put it bluntly, over there is no drama in sentimental mush praising beauty and so on, for this reason the play had to be around achieving the supreme strength - the royal throne."

The beat is gift performed because that the an initial time in Urdu, a language extensively used by world during shah Jahan's reign and still talked and construed by large numbers of ind today.

It is generally believed that she was a beautiful and specialized wife that was content to have lots of kids with her husband - she died giving bear to their 14th child.

"But over there was another side to her that's not renowned - the she was no at every the beautiful-dutiful wife. She to be a very good chess player, far better than shaman Jahan, and that she was ambitious and ruthless," claims director M Sayeed Alam that the Delhi-based theatre team Pierrot's Troupe.

Historians agree that royal women in the Mughal duration exercised far-reaching political authority.


Image caption, The Taj Mahal was constructed by Mughal emperor shah Jahan because that his beloved mam Mumtaz Mahal

"Mumtaz wielded considerable political power and also influence and there space plenty of historical documents confirming her involvement in administrative matters and also government orders," Delhi university professor Farhat Hasan says.

The play recreates 17th Century Delhi, buzzing through political intrigue wherein the fight because that political strength was often ugly and bloody.

It opens up with the rivalry because that the imperial throne between Shah Jahan and also his brother Prince Pervez, and also Mumtaz plays a critical role in her husband's victory by poisoning his rival.

As the play progresses, various shades of Mumtaz's personality involved the fore - a specialized wife that is a guide and adviser to she husband, yet at the exact same time v a mind of she own.

"She's a far-sighted political thinker, one astute strategist and also schemer, and the woman behind and ahead of her man," grandfather Alam says.

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The play's good surprise centres on a high-stakes video game of chess play one evening, once a pregnant Mumtaz nudges the emperor to bet his throne. As soon as he loses the game she ascends the throne, giving free rein to she ruthlessness and ambition.

The emperor climate realises the his lover queen should be stopped. A tussle end the imperial seal ends with her fall from the throne, and also soon Mumtaz dies in childbirth.

The pat is open-ended - it doesn't say in so numerous words that Mumtaz to be killed. Yet it does leaving one v a lingering suspicion, that probably the emperor did have a duty in she death.

The exit from embraced historical fact absolutely didn't trouble the audience the night i went along - they provided it a was standing ovation, and also there have been rave reviews.

"The play focuses on the politician in Mumtaz quite than the lover boy in shaman Jahan," The Hindu said, relenten it together a "great idea". The Deccan Herald invited the truth that "what has actually been etched in our memories" had actually been questioned and also the audience tested to look at at events from a woman perspective.

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Well, it really is a job-related of fiction - over there is no pointer in history that she might have been murdered. Grandfather Hiro states it is actually "faction" - where "fiction blends ingeniously with facts" to produce interesting drama.