(Last Updated on : 19/03/2012)
Aram or Nasarvanji Mehervanji Khansahib was the first Urdu language
author to take up playwriting as a profession. He was associated with the commercial Parsi theatre
during the early decades of its existence. Little is known about his personal life, apart from the fact that his native language was neither Urdu nor Braj i.e. Hindi. Presumably, he belonged to a business family with Parsi customs
and parsi culture
of Mumbai and had some proficiency in Urdu literature
Aram began his literary career with translations of Edulji Khorey's Gujarati dramas, "Nur Jahan" and "Hatim", commissioned by Dadabhai Patel and C. S. Nazir, and published in 1872. He was working mainly with Patel's Victoria Company, which actively produced Urdu theatre
. He was also credited with the authorship of twenty-three plays and "operas" like the pioneering Benazir-Badremunir i.e. "Benazir and Badremunir", in 1872. These operas were based predominantly on traditional tales of love, magic, and adventure, and including numerous songs and ghazals. In accordance with the practice prevalent in Parsi theatre of that period, many of these were originally printed in Gujarati script. Their uneven quality has led critics to doubt that they are the work of a single author. It has been alleged that some were actually composed by Urdu writers from Dacca in East Bengal who had migrated to Bombay.