Often explained as among the marvels of the world, the stunning 17th Century white marble Taj Mahal was constructed by Mughal emperor shah Jahan together a mausoleum because that his beloved mam Mumtaz Mahal, who passed away in childbirth.

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But a new play which newly premiered in India provides a dramatic and also unexpected twisted to historic events. The production of shaman Jahan-o-Mumtaz suggests that every was no well in the lovers' paradise and questions the engine behind the building of the Taj.

The pat was originally written in English in the 1970s as the tale of the Taj through Dilip Hiro, a London-based author, playwright and expert on international affairs.

"Conflict is the driving force in my script," grandfather Hiro called the juniorg8.com. And here, the explores "the conflict between the couple whose common love is embossed ~ above the well-known psyche".

"As one Indian, one is mesmerised by the Taj. The conventional story behind that is shah Jahan's eternal love because that Mumtaz.

"To put it bluntly, there is no drama in sentimental mush praising beauty and so on, for this reason the play had actually to be about achieving the supreme power - the royal throne."

The beat is gift performed for the an initial time in Urdu, a language generally used by world during shaman Jahan's reign and still spoken and interpreted by large numbers of indians today.

It is generally believed that she was a beautiful and specialized wife that was contents to have lots of youngsters with she husband - she died giving birth to their 14th child.

"But there was one more side to she that's not popular - the she was not at every the beautiful-dutiful wife. She was a very good chess player, far better than shaman Jahan, and that she to be ambitious and ruthless," states director M Sayeed Alam that the Delhi-based theatre team Pierrot's Troupe.

Historians agree that imperial women in the Mughal period exercised far-reaching political authority.


Image caption, The Taj Mahal was developed by Mughal emperor shaman Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal

"Mumtaz wielded considerable political power and also influence and there space plenty that historical files confirming her involvement in bureaucratic matters and government orders," Delhi college professor Farhat Hasan says.

The pat recreates 17th Century Delhi, buzzing with political intrigue whereby the fight because that political power was often ugly and also bloody.

It opens up with the rivalry for the royal throne in between Shah Jahan and also his brothers Prince Pervez, and also Mumtaz plays a vital role in her husband's success by poisoning his rival.

As the play progresses, different shades of Mumtaz's personality come to the fore - a committed wife that is a guide and also adviser to her husband, yet at the very same time with a mind of her own.

"She's a far-sighted political thinker, one astute strategist and also schemer, and the mrs behind and ahead of her man," grandfather Alam says.

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The play's great surprise centres top top a high-stakes game of chess play one evening, when a pregnant Mumtaz nudges the emperor to gambling his throne. When he loser the game she ascends the throne, giving cost-free rein to she ruthlessness and also ambition.

The emperor then realises the his lovely queen should be stopped. A tussle end the royal seal ends v her autumn from the throne, and also soon Mumtaz dies in childbirth.

The beat is open-ended - it doesn't to speak in so plenty of words the Mumtaz to be killed. Yet it does leave one v a lingering suspicion, that possibly the emperor did have actually a duty in she death.

The exit from welcomed historical fact certainly didn't trouble the audience the night ns went along - they provided it a standing ovation, and there have been rave reviews.

"The play concentrates on the politician in Mumtaz rather than the lover boy in shah Jahan," The Hindu said, relenten it together a "great idea". The Deccan Herald invited the fact that "what has actually been etched in ours memories" had been questioned and also the audience challenged to watch at events from a mrs perspective.

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Well, it yes, really is a job-related of fiction - over there is no suggestion in background that she could have to be murdered. Mr Hiro claims it is in reality "faction" - whereby "fiction blends ingeniously through facts" to develop interesting drama.