Notes: India


175 | ‘The best to be said’ | Bosley Crowther, review of The HouseholderThe New York Times, 22 October 1963 [].

175 | For twenty years | For details of Shakespeareana and the genesis of the film, I’ve drawn on Geoffrey Kendal’s account in The Shakespeare Wallah (London, 1986), written with Clare Colvin; and cross-checked with other sources, notably Kuldip Singh’s excellent obituary in The Independent, 14 June 1998 []; Robert Emmet Long, The Films of Merchant Ivory, rev. edn (New York, 1998); and Daniel Rosenthal, 100 Shakespeare Films (London, 2007).

177 | Shakespeare’s name is inscribed | For a slightly different perspective on cultural politics of the film, see Dan Venning, ‘Cultural Imperialism and Intercultural Encounter in Merchant Ivory’s Shakespeare Wallah’, Asian Theatre Journal 28 (2011), 149–67.

178 | researching a newspaper piece | Andrew Dickson, ‘World Shakespeare festival: Around the Globe in 37 Plays’, The Guardian, 20 April 2012 [].

179 | Shakespeare in India | C. J. Sisson, Shakespeare in India: Popular Adaptations on the Bombay Stage (London, 1926).

179 | ‘There is but one country’ | Sisson, 7.

180 | ‘The orthodox Shakespearian’ | Sisson, 8.

181 | ‘The Bombay popular stage’ | Sisson, 25–6.

181 | the world’s oldest synchronised-sound version of Hamlet | Khoon-ka-Khoon, dir. Sohrab Modi (India, 1935). Unfortunately the film is lost, but stills from it are viewable online: [].

184 | I’d read books | The best primer on Hindi film is Tejaswini Ganti’s superlative Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema, 2nd edn (London, 2012); I also referred to Mihir Bose’s Bollywood: A History (Stroud, 2006), which has many fascinating nuggets.

184 | according to a report | Nyay Bhushan, ‘India Box Office Grows 10 Percent in 2013’, Hollywood Reporter, 12 March 2014 [].

185 | Parsi theatre combined | For my account of Parsi theatre I’m indebted to numerous sources, notably Somnath Gupt, The Parsi Theatre: Its Origins and Development, trans. Kathryn Hansen (Calcutta, 2005); Kathryn Hansen, ‘Parsi Theatre and the City: Location, Patrons, Audiences’, Sarai Reader 2002: The Cities of Everyday Life [–theatre.pdf]; and Vikram Singh Thakur, ‘Parsi Shakespeare: The Precursor to “Bollywood Shakespeare”, in Craig Dionne and Parmita Kapadia (eds), Bollywood Shakespeares (New York, 2014), 21–44. I also found the relevant entries in Ananda Lal (ed.), The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre (Oxford, 2004), highly informative, both on Parsi theatre and numerous performers.

187 | estimates vary | Every account I have come across has suggested a slightly different number, no doubt because of the poor survival of texts, added to the difficulty of deciding what counts as ‘Shakespearian’ and what doesn’t. The best sources I have discovered remain C.R. Shah, ‘Shakespearean Plays in Indian Languages’, 2 parts, The Aryan Path (November and December 1955), 483–88, 541–44; and R.K. Yajnik, The Indian Theatre (London, 1933).

187 | Parsi actors worked a great deal harder | For several fascinating accounts of what life was like in Parsi theatre, see Kathryn Hansen (ed.), Stages of Life: Indian Theatre Autobiographies (London, 2011). Mrinal Pande’s essay ‘“Moving beyond themselves”: Women in Hindustani Parsi Theatre and Early Hindi Films’, Economic and Political Weekly 41/17 (April, 2006), 1646–53, is also utterly absorbing.

188 | ‘On the night’ | Quoted in Ania Loomba, ‘Shakespearian Transformations’, in John J. Joughin, (ed), Shakespeare and National Culture (Manchester, 1997), 109–41.

189 | ‘I have not taken’ | Quoted in Rajiva Verma, ‘Shakespeare in Hindi Cinema’, in Poonam Trivedi, and Dennis Bartholomeusz (eds), India’s Shakespeare: Translation, Interpretation and Performance (Newark, DE, 2005). I’m grateful to both Rajiva Verma and Poonam Trivedi for guiding me through the thickets of Parsi adaptations and readaptations.

190 | Poonam Trivedi records | In John Gillies, Ryuta Minami, Ruru Li and Poonam Trivedi, ‘Shakespeare on the Stages of Asia’, in Stanley Wells and Sarah Stanton (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage (Cambridge, 2002), 272–83.

190 | ‘In what part of her body …? | The Comedy of Errors, 3.2.117–143.

190 | ‘in [the woman’s face]’ | Quoted in Trivedi, ‘Stages of Asia’, 275.

194 | Hamlet it was to be | An adaptation of the play set in Kashmir, Haider was released – after some complications with the censor – in October 2014. See Sudhish Kamath, ‘Haider: Beyond the Line of Control’, The Hindu, 3 October 2014 []; and Vikas Pandey, ‘Haider: Why is ‘Indian Hamlet’ Controversial?’, BBC News, 7 October 2014 [].

195 | the event occurred | For the early history of Bollywood, see especially Ganti, Handbook and Bose, History. For Shakespeare’s involvement, see Verma ‘Hindi Cinema’, Poonam Trivedi, ‘“Filmi” Shakespeare’, Literature/Film Quarterly 35 (2007), 148–58. Miola, Robert S., Shakespeare’s Reading (Oxford, 2000).

196 | Narayan Prasad Betab and Agha Hashr Kashmiri | Excellent brief accounts of both lives are in Lal, Companion, as well as suggested bibliography.

199 | Angoor | The film is – currently – viewable in full on YouTube, with subtitles, at: [].

200 | ‘lost and found movies’ | Ganti writes about the genre well; see Handbook, 148–53.

202 | Entry from Backside Only | Binoo K. John, Entry from Backside Only (New Delhi, 2007).

203 | a uniquely gifted magpie | On the fascinating and endless topic of Shakespeare’s sources, useful places to start are Robert S. Miola, Shakespeare’s Reading (Oxford, 2000) and Colin Burrow, Shakespeare and Classical Antiquity (Oxford, 2013). Geoffrey Bullough’s Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, 8 vols (London, 1957–75), excerpts many sources and analogues.

204 | ‘The genius lay’ | Miola, 2.

204 | Othello | A detailed account of Othello’s sources is in Michael Neill’s Oxford edition (Oxford, 2006).

205 | ‘The barge she sat in’ | Antony and Cleopatra, 2.2.198–202.

205 | ‘To take [Cleopatra’s] barge’ in Plutarch, Life of Antony 26, trans. Thomas North. The relevant sections of North are helpfully reprinted in T.J.B. Spencer, Shakespeare’s Plutarch (London, 1964).

205 | ‘an upstart Crow’ | Every biographer tells the story, but Park Honan sets it helpfully in context, noting that the phrase may actually have been written by Greene’s publisher Henry Chettle rather than the dying Greene himself. See Shakespeare: A Life (Oxford, 1998), 158–62.

208 | The British had intended none of this | On Shakespeare’s presence in Indian colonial education, the best sources are Nandi Bhatia, ‘Shakespeare and the Codes of Empire in India’, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 18 (1998), 96–126; L. Gandhi, ‘Unmasking Shakespeare: the Uses of English in Colonial and Postcolonial India’, in Philip Mead and Marion Campbell (eds), Shakespeare’s Books: Contemporary Cultural Politics and the Persistence of Empire (Melbourne, 1993), 81–97; Jyotsna Singh, ‘Different Shakespeares: The Bard in Colonial/Postcolonial India’, Theatre Journal 41 (1989), 445–58; andGauri Viswanathan, Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India (New York, 1989). Tom Bishop and Alexander C. Y. Huang (eds), Shakespeare International Yearbook 12: Special Section, Shakespeare in India (Burlington, VT, 2012) has many useful essays on the broader context, as does India’s Shakespeare.

207 | ‘I have no knowledge’ | Reprinted – and discussed – in Singh, ‘Different Shakespeares’, 448.

207 | ‘It is a noble work’ | ‘Report of the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Colonisation from Ireland, Together with the Minutes of Evidence, 1847’, The Edinburgh Review 91 ( January, 1850), 1–62, 61.

208 | ‘I dreamt last night’ | Some have attributed the lines to Edwardian headmaster Guy Boas; see Paul Franssen, Shakespeare’s Literary Lives(Cambridge, 2016), 25; Terence Hawkes discusses them amusingly in ‘Swisser-Swatter: making a man of English letters” in John Drakakis (ed.), Alternative Shakespeares, 26-46.

209 | What did one even call the city? | The debate (and the continuing controversy surrounding it) is crisply summarised by Adam Taylor, ‘Mumbai or Bombay? A British Newspaper Reverts to a Colonial-Era Name’, The Washington Post, 10 February 2016 [].

209 | Nearly all had gone | An atmospheric account of the Grant Road cinema world – which is rapidly evaporating – is in Michael Edison Hayden, ‘Ghost Town: The Forgotten History of Grant Road’s Cinemas’, Mumbai Boss, 19 March 2012 [].

210 | An academic paper | Raj Amit Kumar, ‘The Lower Stall: A Sleaze-Sex Film Industry in India’ (unpublished dissertation, City University of New York, 2005) [].

211 | so many conflicting accounts | They include Mark Thornton Burnett, Shakespeare and World Cinema (Cambridge, 2013); Esha Niyogi De, ‘Modern Shakespeares in Popular Bombay Cinema: Translation, Subjectivity and Community’, Screen 43 (2002), 19–40; Madhavi Menon, Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film (London, 2008); Mrinal Pande, ‘“Moving beyond themselves”’; Poonam Trivedi, ‘“Filmi” Shakespeare’’; Rajiva Verma, ‘Hamlet on the Hindi screen’, Hamlet Studies 24 (2002), 81–93; and Verma, ‘Shakespeare in Hindi Cinema’. Several chapters in Bishop and Huang, Yearbook, also discuss early cinematic adaptations.

212 | Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair | The most considered scholarly account of Jayaraj as a film-maker is by Mark Thornton Burnett, who interviews the director and puts him in the context of Vishal Bhardwaj, a very different director but equally an auteur. See Shakespeare in World Cinema, 55–88.

213 | an A5-sized copy of a poster | I couldn’t resist putting an image online; see: []

215 | Dil Chahta Hai | A good account of the film – and its intertextual references – is in Menon, Unhistorical Shakespeare; Richard Burt also writes about Akhtar in ‘Shakespeare and Asia in Postdiasporic Cinemas: Spin-off and Citations of the Plays from Bollywood to Hollywood’, in Richard Burt and Lynda E. Boose (eds), Shakespeare the Movie II: Popularising the Plays on Film, TV, Video and DVD (London, 2003), 265–303.

216 | Tipped off that the film contained a nod | I’m supremely grateful to Poonam Trivedi for the pointer, which is every bit astonishing as she promised.

217 | ‘Look into my eyes’ | Subtitles taken from the Reliance DVD. The film is online in full (currently, anyhow) at: []

219 | Yajnik … had tabulated | See Yajnik, Indian Theatre, 270–8. Numbers regarding adaptations drawn from here.

220 | alien to Hindu dramatic traditions | See relevant sections in Lal, Companion, and Yajnik, 19–69.

221 | ‘grounded on impossibilities’ | Dryden’s words – which seem to criticise Love’s Labour’s Lost and Measure for Measure too, but are not entirely clear – come from ‘An Essay on the Dramatique Poetry’; see The Works of John Dryden, ed. John Loftis, David Stuart Rodes and Vinton A. Dearing, 20 vols (California, 1978), vol. 11, 206.

221 | printed in Macmillan’s Magazine Harold Littledale, ‘Cymbeline in a Hindoo Playhouse’, Macmillan’s Magazine 42 (May–Oct, 1880), 65–68.

221 | ‘in the cave scene’ | Littledale, 67.

222 | ‘His disguise as a boy’ | Littledale, 68.

223 | Panchakanya | See Pradip Bhattacharya, ‘Panchakanya: Women of Substance’ Journal of South Asian Literature 35 (2000), 13-56. Henry W. Wells and H. H. Anniah Gowda, Shakespeare Turned East: A Study in Comparison of Shakespeare’s Last Plays with some Classical Plays of India (Mysore, 1976), offers some interesting parallels, while Ganti notes that reincarnation – present in both Cymbeline and The Winter’s Tale – remains a resonant theme in Indian cinema; see Handbook, 153.

223 | Only relevant work | See Kenneth S. Rothwell, and Annabelle H. Melzer, Shakespeare on Screen: An International Filmography and Videography (New York, 1990). Many other Shakespearian filmographies neglect to mention Asian adaptations at all; worthy exceptions are Rosenthal, 100 Shakespeare Films, which includes Maqbool and Omkaraby Bhardwaj; and, of course, Mark Thornton Burnett’s Shakespeare and World Cinema.

224 | ‘Nargis Proves Equal’ | Filmindia, June 1948 issue, 1–2.

226 | ‘Sahu’s “Hamlet” Flops’ | Filmindia, February 1955 issue, 71–75.

227 | an inferior imitation of Olivier’s | Poonam Trivedi somewhat takes this line in ‘“Filmi” Shakespeare’; De Esha, in ’Modern Shakespeares’, perceptively argues that the film is more Indian and original than at first it appears. Rajiva Verma, ‘Hamlet on the Hindi screen’, Hamlet Studies 24 (2002), 81–93, has useful things to say on its intertextuality.

229 | Indian film history in fleshly form | Nair even stars in a movie of his life, Shivendra Singh Dungarpur’s documentary Celluloid Man (2012), which is well worth watching.

232 | ‘[Shakespeare]’s plays are still alive’ | Sisson, 25–6.

237 | A Lovely World never got made | See James Ivory and Robert Emmet Long, James Ivory in Conversation: How Merchant Ivory Makes its Movies (Berkeley, CA, 2005), 78.

238 | A travelling company called Prithvi | I’ve drawn details on the Kapoor clan – and many more besides – from the invaluable reference by Gulzar, Govind Nihalani and Saibal Chatterjee (eds), Encylopedia of Hindi Cinema (New Delhi and Mumbai, 2005).

241 | drama had formed an important fulcrum | For my account of Bengali drama I’m indebted to the relevant sections in Lal, Companion, buttressed by Ananda Lal and Sukanta Chaudhuri (eds), Shakespeare on the Calcutta Stage: A Checklist (Calcutta, 2001); C.R. Shah, ‘Shakespearean Plays in Indian Languages’, 2 parts, The Aryan Path (November and December 1955), 483–88, 541–44; Rangana Banerji, ‘“Every college student knows by heart”: the uses of Shakespeare in Colonial Bengal’, in Bishop and Huang, Yearbook, 29–42; Singh, ‘Different Shakespeares’; and Sarottama Majumdar, ‘That Sublime “Old Gentleman”: Shakespeare’s Plays in Calcutta, 1775–1930’, in India’s Shakespeare, 232–39.

242 | More explosive minglings | Good accounts of the 1848 performance are given in Singh, ‘Different Shakespeares’, Nandi Bhatia, ‘Different Othello(s) and Contentious Spectators: Changing Responses in India’, Gramma 15 (2007), 155–74; and Sudipto Chatterjee and Jyotsna Singh, ‘Moor or Less? The Surveillance of Othello, Calcutta 1848’, in Christy Desmet and Robert Sawyer (eds), Shakespeare and Appropriation (London, 1999), 65–84.

243 | ‘tame, languid, affected’ | Full translation quoted in Chatterjee and Singh, ‘Moor or Less?’, 79, from where other quotations are taken. The Bengali originals are printed in Amal Mitra, Kalkatay Bidesi Rangalay(Calcutta, 1967).

244 | the Times of India had picked up the story | Zinia Sen, ‘A twist in the tale by Kaushik Sen’, The Times of India, 17 June 2012 [].

246 | Utpal Dutt | For my account of Dutt’s life and career, I’m indebted to Lal, Companion, and the Encyclopedia of Hindi Cinema. His Shakespearian work is discussed in A. J. Gunawardana, ‘Theatre as a Weapon: An Interview with Utpal Dutt’, The Drama Review 15 (1971), 224–37; Arnab Banerji, ‘Rehearsals for a Revolution: The Political Theatre of Utpal Dutt’, Southeast Review of Asian Studies 34 (2012), 222–30. I’m also grateful to Bishnupriya Dutt for making time in Delhi to speak to me about her father.

247 | Shakespeare could make excellent sense | On Dutt’s jatraadaptations, see Tapati Gupta, ‘From Proscenium to Paddy Fields: Utpal Dutt’s Shakespeare Jatra’ in Poonam Trivedi and Minami Ryuta (eds), Re-playing Shakespeare in Asia (London, 2010), 157–77.

248 | ‘Alas, poor country’ | Macbeth, 4.3.165–8.

249 | The shadow of English literature | See Banerji, ‘“Every college student”’, 30–2.

250 | Rabindranath Tagore | I’ve drawn details on Tagore’s Shakespearian connections from Supriya Chaudhuri, “What bloody man is that?” MacbethMaqbool and Shakespeare in India, in Bishop and Huang, 97–114; and Sisir Kumar Das, ‘Shakespeare in Indian Languages’, in India’s Shakespeare, 42–65.

250 | ‘Therefore at this moment’ | Israel Gollancz (ed.), A Book of Homage to Shakespeare (Oxford, 1916), 321.

250 | a critical essay | ‘Shakuntala’, reprinted in Rabindranath Tagore, Selected Writings on Literature and Language, ed. Sukanta Chaudhuri, Sankha Ghosha and Sisir Kumar Das (New Delhi, 2001). Quotations are taken from this edition.

255 | The play was being staged | Jyotsna Singh also saw Tadpole’s The Winter’s Tale, and her review catches many subtleties about the performance; see Shakespeare9 (2013), 347–9.

258 | ‘That she is living’ | The Winter’s Tale, 5.3.116–8.

258 | ‘The last plays appeal’ | Anne Barton, Essays, Mainly Shakespearean (Cambridge, 1994), 180.