Tag Archives: Macbeth

Short Story: Lucy Villa

By Dr Naina Dey

Lucy Villa was a beautiful house almost palatial in grandeur and standoffishness. Built on a large patch of sloping land it was surrounded by a once lush garden of myriad fruit trees and exotic flowering plants. Now with years of neglect, the fruit trees had gone wild and the plants that had managed to survive, were smothered by weeds and brambles. No shears trimmed the wayward shoots, no one watered the plants that stood under the scorching sun and waited for merciful rain. The only fountain had run dry, its water trough sickly yellow and green with slime, its stone fairy now decrepit. At night however, Lucy Villa was an elfin realm. Its colourless walls, broad balustrades, wide balconies and layered terraces, gleamed in the moonlight though its tall elegant windows looked dark and forbidding.

Lucy Villa was named after the wife of a sahib who had it built with the intention of enjoying the quiet of this far-flung town and to entertain the occasional guest. Unable to bear the death of his beloved collie and then of his childless wife, the sahib had returned to England leaving the house under the care of a friend who lived in the city. That was more than two decades ago. At present it was under the supervision of an attorney, a little bald sly-eyed man.

When we entered the house, it was still furnished with whatever Hamilton sahib had left behind. Moth-eaten carpets and teak furniture inlaid with delicate floral motifs in brass adorned the living room. The rest of the rooms were bare their dusty floors emanating a suffocating musty smell. The house itself was still in excellent condition despite the neglect barring a few damp patches. The walls had been white-washed for the new tenants. It was a pity that a house fit for a prince was in disuse for this long. It also became evident shortly after we had moved in that this was a house of disrepute.

As I stood one evening under the oleander tree just outside the walls, two Sikh boys on a scooty had screamed raucously – “Bhootiya Bungla (haunted bungalow)!” and sped away as fast as they could leaving me confused and angry. True, the house stood by itself, its high walls and garden isolating it from the rest of the neighbourhood. It was hardly unusual for houses which were once dwelling places of the rich, who preferred privacy, to be associated with strange stories once they had been abandoned. Read more

Why Shakespeare’s First Folio coming to Mumbai is momentous

By Danish Sheikh

“Et tu, Brute!”

“Out, damned spot!”

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on/ And our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

These are iconic lines from iconic plays: Caesar’s dying gasp has seeped into our consciousness as a roar against betrayal; Lady Macbeth’s anguished plea is a lasting reminder of the insidious hold of guilt; and Prospero’s farewell to magic stands as a poignant ode to mortality.

William Shakespeare crafted these words of course, but were it not for the efforts of one John Heminges and Henry Condell more than four centuries ago, they would have never made their way to us.

Seven years after his death, these two colleagues of the Bard produced Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories and Tragedies, often referred to simply as the “First Folio”.

The book put into print for the first time 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including Julius Caesar, Macbeth and The Tempest.

One of the 234 surviving copies has now made its way to India, housed at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj museum in Mumbai till March 8. Read more

Source: DailyO

Haider: Desperately seeking Hamlet in the Valley of Kashmir

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kashmir drama is a beautifully acted but sloppily assembled adaptation of the Shakespeare classic.

haiderHaider is Vishal Bhardwaj’s third attempt to map William Shakespeare’s texts, characters and plotting patterns for India’s social and political realities. The English playwright’s brooding tragedies have vastly helped the ambitious filmmaker chart new directions for well-travelled themes. Macbeth reoriented the mafia movie (Maqbool), while Othello seemed perfect to explore caste and power relations in Uttar Pradesh (Omkara). Read more