ANDOVER, MA—Imagine a backdrop of the political and rebellious pre-independent India; interspersed in this era was a romance; pure and magnificent. Envision listening to this story as a long mystic poem with a dash of humor and grief. Imagine this interwoven with ghazals that are complemented with the beautiful sounds of melancholic violins and rhythmic tablas in the voice of none other than the blessed Jaswinder Singh.
Marking the 14th death anniversary of revolutionary Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi this year, Kaifi Aur Main, the magnificent love story of Kaifi and his wife Shaukat is one such performance. Here are the two dates for the program in New England:
Date: March 31
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: Everett Collins Center,100 Shawsheen Road, Andover, MA
Date: March 30
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: Newington High School, 605 Willard Avenue, Newington, CT
The program is organized by Milan Cultural Association Massachusetts and Connecticut.
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 that have been strung together by Javed Akhtar and directed by Ramesh Talwar.
What makes this very special is that their daughter, Shabana Azmi, and her husband Javed Akhtar are reading the parts of Shaukat and Kaifi. Kaifi Aur Main summarizes everything about Kaifi, be it his 55-year-old romance with Shaukat— right from the time she met him as a young girl, till their last day together — or his progressive social ideas.
When the words, ‘Jannat ek aur hai jo mard ke pehlu mein nahin, uski aazaad ravish par hi machalna hai tujhe, uth meri jaan, mere saath hi chalna hai tujhe,‘ from one of his best poems Aurat are recited, you’re going to applaud. Written in the 1940s, these very lines were the toast of mehfils, wherever Kaifi went (hearing him recite this, girls went crazy over him!) and even today, 70 years later, they’re still as hauntingly beautiful.
Also, you’ll be enthralled when his movie songs like Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho (Hanste Zakhm), Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo (Haqeeqat), Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam (Kaagaz Ke Phool) or Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho (Arth) are sung.