Page:Nil Durpan.djvu/14

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other, slippers off the feet of righteously indignant countrymen.

Nil Darpan is indeed a magic mirror which reflects two faces: the face of the tyrant, and the face of the aggrieved victim of tyranny.

From the point of view of mass appeal the first half of the drama is still capable of retaining complete grip over the audience. The second half probably required slight excisions and abridgements, here and there, from the productional point of view. As one of those who had helped to revive the play after an interval of more than 60 years, I can say that it has lost none of its old fire, its old magic.


Before I conclude I feel it necessary to say a few words about the translation. Michael Dutt was probably the ideal man to undertake the job. He was a master of English language and he was probably at home in the patois in which the play was written—the dialect of the district of his birth. A few words here about this celebrated translator may not be out of place.

On January 25, 1824, Madhushudan Dutt was born in Sagardari, a village in the district of Jessore. He got admitted in Hindu College in 1837 and was one of the brightest scholars of his college. He embraced Christianity in 1843 and came to be known as Michael Madhushudan Dutt.

Michael Dutt acquired rare erudition in Greek, Latin, Hebrew and Persian, besides English which he treated as his mother tongue for a long time—a language in which he thought, talked, wrote and dreamt.

When he first started writing, it was in English, and his English translation of Ratnavali won him a great fame. In 1858 he joined the Police Court as its Head Clerk and Interpreter. During his work there he, at the request of his friends, wrote the drama Sharmistha, and it was staged with success.