Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 27:
Renowned Bollywood actor Shabana Azmi and her lyricist husband Javed Akhtar enthralled a jam-packed audience in Rabindra Mandap in the Odisha capital with ‘Kaifi Aur Main’, a play on the life and times of revolutionary Urdu poet, Kaifi Azmi, Shaban’s father.
Directed by Ramesh Talwar, the play portrayed the lives of Kaifi Azmi and his wife Shaukat. Their childhood romance that ended in a marriage, the days of struggle in the lives of the young couple in pre-independent India, his relationship as a lyricist with Bollywood and his work towards a progressive society even at a time when he was partially paralyzed following a massive heart stroke.
The play began with a young Hyderabadi girl Shaukat falling in love with the rebellious poet Kaifi in the backdrop of the freedom struggle of India and ends with Kaifi’s hard work towards bringing change and prosperity to his small native village near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
While Javed played the part of his father-in-law Kaifi, Shabana essayed the role of her mother Shaukat in the play. The beauty of the play lay in its simple rendering. Shabana, through her performance, portrayed the innermost feelings of Shaukat. In his rendition of Kaifi, Javed was witty and comical at times. Every episode from Kaifi’s life was beautifully punctuated by ghazals and songs by singer Jaswinder Singh and troupe.
The play was based on Shaukat Azmi’s book ‘Yaad Ki Rehguzaar’ and a few interviews of Kaifi strung together by Javed. Apart from Shabana and Javed, singer Jaswinder Singh and his five-member team recited ghazals complementing the play.
The mesmerizing performance of poetry and politics, persistence and success, love and grief and of silence and solitude duly got a standing ovation from the audience.
The programme was part of a fund-raising event by Zain Foundation that aims to establish a one-stop centre for autistic children in the state.