54dd68d20f1de5bceb599bbde8cde90a-2When the creativity of a writer aligns with the spontaneous receptiveness of the audience, a joyous synchronicity elevates a work of art to perfection,” said Javed Akhtar, the celebrated Urdu poet, lyricist, and script writer, in an exclusive interview with India Currents. He was speaking of the upcoming theatrical presentation of Kaifi Aur Main in Hayward on Nov. 19. Kaifi Aur Main has received standing ovations from filmmakers and stars of Bollywood. …………………………………………………………………… The inspiration for Kaifi Aur Main came from Yaad Ki Rehguzar, a memoir written by Shaukat Kaifi, the noted stage and film actress, that celebrates 55 years of her marriage with the love of her life, Kaifi Azmi, the famed poet, lyricist, writer, and social activist. ……………………………………………………………………. Shaukat met Kaifi when she was an innocent teenager. It was love at first sight for Shaukat who was engaged to someone else. “The highlight of the romance was Mummy spraying her perfume Evening in Paris on him,” said Shabana Azmi, the celebrity actress and social activist daughter of Shaukat and Kaifi Azmi and co-presenter of Kaifi Aur Main. …………………………………………………………………… “Yaad Ki Rehguzar got rave reviews from critics and has been incorporated in nine universities in the United States as recommended reading for South Asian Studies,” Shabana Azmi continued. “It has been hailed as a triumph of the spirit that rises above the personal to encompass the political atmosphere of the time in a voice that is distinctly female,” she said. …………………………………………………………………… While Yaad Ki Rehguzar provided the perspective of Shaukat Kaifi, it was left to Javed Akhtar to create an authentic voice for Kaifi Azmi. “It was not an easy task”, said Akhtar, “and took months of research to collate material from his rare interviews to craft the genuine Kaifi.” ……………………………………………………………………. The first half of the presentation is played out in different time zones where Shabana Azmi, playing her mother, captures the intriguing romance of the duo while Javed Akhtar delineates Kaifi Azmi’s life and socialist bearing in the village of his birth. They come together just before intermission. The theatrical collage has been produced in the format of Tumhari Amrita in which the tonal modulations of Shabana Azmi’s versatile voice breathed life into the play inspired by A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters. Kaifi Aur Main is interspersed by ghazals and lyrics sung by Jaswinder Singh and Javed Akhtar, the fine poet and script writer who has finally made his debut as an actor in Kaifi Aur Main. …………………………………………………………………… What can offer a more poignant experience for Shabana Azmi than playing her mother? And how wonderfully moving it must be for Javed Akhtar to resonate the persona of another great lyricist and poet! It is no wonder that the presentation has been called “cathartic, enriching, and poetic” (Indian Express, July 2006). It promises to provide rich and soul stirring fare for the fans of Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar. —Jessi Kaur …………………………………………………………………… Sunday, Nov. 19. 6:30 p.m. Chabot College, 25555 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward. (510) 792-0910. www.kaladarshan.com…………………………………………………………………… Sunday, Nov. 26, 6:30 p.m. La Mirada Theater, 14900 La Mirada Blvd, La Mirada. $25, $35, $50, $75 and donor. (310) 715-3030. www.sulekha.com

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