An Adaptation from Molière’s L’Avare (The Miser)
Adaptated By: Tariq Anam Khan
Directed By: Kamrun Nur Chowdhury
‘Kanjoosh’ is the story of a miser named Haider Ali who has a son and a daughter with two servants named Lal Miah and Kala Miah and one disguised head servant Badi. These servants are aware of every weakness of their master. Haider, the central character of the play is a greedy, anxious oldman and above all a miser who trusts nobody but himself. He hides Two Lac Taka under the ground of his garden. Even then he does not feel safe and repeatedly goes to look at it. He is a widower and wishes to marry a young girl named Marjina with whom his son Kazim is already in love. But the irony is that he forces Kazim to marry a widow and forces his daughter Laily to marry an aged rich man of 50 years Aslam Beg because the Kanjoosh will not have to pay dowry. But the daughter Laily is in love with the disguised head servant Badi who is actually the lost son of Aslam Beg. On the other hand Golabjan, an experienced match-maker comes to Haider to negotiate the marriage of Haider and Marjina. Her only intention is to extract money from Haider with she wishes to free herself from a police case. Though Haider is enchanted by the thought of his marriage with Marjina, he ignores Golab Bai’s urge for money.
Dramatically Golabjan comes to know about the affair between Kazim and Marjina and feeling pity takes initiatives to help them. Badi, the head servant, lover of Haider’s daughter tries to win Haider’s heart by supporting him while criticising Kala, the other servant who is both a cook and a rickshaw-puller. Once beaten by Badi, Kala feels insulted and determines to take revenge on Badi. At one stage Haider’s hidden money is stolen by Lal Miah who gives it to Kazim. Loosing the money Haider becomes a brokenman and calls police who fails to do anything. Kala Miah is forced by Haider and police to reveal the name of the thief. Finding the best time to take revenge, Kala reveal Badi to be the thief. Arrested by the police, Badi confesses that he is guilty but the irony is that Badi reveals the guilt of his love but Haider thinks it to be the guilt of stealing money.
At the end of the play Aslam Beg is urged by Haider to take action against Badi. Aslam Beg comes to know that Badi and Marjina are his lost children. At that time Kazim comes with the money and demands Marjina in return of it. Last of all Haider agrees but wants to see if his pot of money is okay. The play ends with two happy marriages.
The drama is based on the typical life and culture of old Dhaka city which is dominated by a mix language of Urdu and Bengali. The old hindi songs and music in the play brings out the utmost flavour of their life.