The Viziers of Bassora
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Collected Plays and Stories
“The Viziers of Bassora: A Romantic Comedy”
The manuscript of this play was seized by the police at the time of Sri Aurobindo’s arrest in connection with the Alipore Bomb Case in May 1908. It seems to have been written a few years before that, towards the end of the period of his employment in the Baroda State (1893 – 1906). Sri Aurobindo never saw the manuscript after his arrest, and he is said to have particularly regretted its loss. The source of the plot is “Nur al-Din Ali and the Damsel Anis al-Jalis”, a story told in the “Arabian Nights”. Sri Aurobindo owned in Baroda a multi-volume edition of Richard Burton’s translation of the Arabic text (London, 1894), which he considered “as much a classic as the original”.