HAYWARD, CA: Renowned Bollywood actress Padma Bhushan Shabana Azmi and her lyricist husband Padma Bhushan Javed Akhtar enthralled a jam-packed audience in Chabot College, Hayward, California on April 9 with ‘Kaifi Aur Main’, a play on the life and times of revolutionary Urdu poet, Kaifi Azmi, Shabana Azmi’s father.
The play was hosted by Bollywood Events and Javanika Entertainment. Speaking about the play, Jagruti, Javanika Entertainment, said her company is committed to bring quality entertainment show to the Bay area audience. Karl Kalra was the national promoter.
This theatrical collage is a compilation of Shaukat’s interaction with Kaifi, from her book Yaad Ki Rehguzaar, along with portions from various interviews of Kaifi, which have been strung together by Javed Akhtar and directed by Ramesh Talwar.
Shabana Azmi, regarded as one of the finest actresses in India and Javed Akhtar, recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award as well as thirteen Filmfare Awards, were on stage playing Shaukat and Kaifi Azmi, in a narrative that traced their lives from childhood to their romance and marriage that lasted 55 years, and everything in between.
The play leads the audience through Kaifi’s life in Bombay in the 1950s, his involvement with the progressive writers’ movement, his entry into Indian cinema and his subsequent success there and finally his unending courage in the face of a life-threatening illness. 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. In their inimitable style, they take the audience on this very personal journey that weaves together humor, pathos and the triumph of human spirit.
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.
About the artists:
Shabana Azmi has been honored with the National Film Award for Best Actress five times, making her the most awarded actress in the category. Shabana Azmi has been conferred with prestigious honors like Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India, Martin Luther King Professorship award by the University of Michigan. She has also been honored with internationals awards in film festivals like Taormina Arte Festival (Italy), Chicago International Film Festival and L.A. Outfest.
Besides being renowned for her extraordinary contribution in the film industry, Shabana Azmi has made a mark for herself in the field of social activism. She has fought for various causes like child survival, fighting AIDS and communal harmony.
Javed Akhtar is an eminent Indian film scriptwriter, lyricist and poet, whose lineage can be traced back to seven generations of renowned Urdu writers, poets and freedom fighters. A respected social commentator and activist admired for his secular, liberal and progressive values, Akhtar has written a large number of poems against communalism, social injustice, national integration and for women’s rights. He has received five national awards and15 Filmfare Awards.
Akhtar has also been nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the President of India (2010) and is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India. His publications include his first poetry collection Tarkash, currently in its 11th edition in Hindi and 7th in Urdu. It has been translated into English, French and a range of Indian regional languages. According to a recent survey done by a publisher’s organization, it is the most sold book of verses in the last 60 years in India.
India Post News Service