(Last Updated on : 13/02/2013)
Amanat Lakhnawi was the pen name of Syed Agha Hasan. He was born in the year of 1817. Amanat was an Urdu poet of Lucknow, who started writing verse from his childhood under the guidance of a well-known local poet who also helped him choose his nom de plume. He lost his speech at the age of 20 and only partially recovered it some years later. His stutter made him almost a recluse, but helped him devote more time to poetry. He wrote hundreds of ghazals and marsiahs i.e. a traditional Persian and Urdu elegiac form.
Amanat became famous throughout the country for Indarsabha i.e. 'Indra's Court' in the year of 1853, which is recognized as one of the earliest examples of Urdu theatre, along with Wajid Ali Shah's rahas compositions. Although some critics suggest that the play was inspired by reports about European operas, there is no evidence of any such report being available in Lucknow
or to Amanat. Indarsabha is more likely to have been influenced by the rahas. Performed as well as recited in public, it proved immensely popular in Amanat's lifetime, reprinted everywhere Urdu was understood. The British Museum possesses forty-eight editions in different Indian languages. With its profusion of song and dance sequences strung together by a thin storyline of a fairy's love for a prince, and involving supernatural beings and magical happenings, Indarsabha became the prototype for scores of Parsi-theatre plays in subsequent decades. The Madan Theatres' film in 1932 of their version, showcasing seventy songs, was the most successful of many cinematizations. Amanat Lakhnawi died in the year of 1859.
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