[Reader-list] IPTA presents ' Kaifi Aur Main' saga of a poet : A fund raising initiative by Greenpeace India , 25 November 2010 , New Delhi

rohitrellan at aol.in rohitrellan at aol.in
Mon Nov 22 09:21:30 IST 2010

About the show  
Kaifi Aur Main is a celebration of renowned Urdu poet and film lyricist 
Kaifi Azmi's life and works seen through the eyes of his wife, noted 
theatre and film actress, Shaukat Kaifi, brought to life by his 
daughter Shabana Azmi and son-in-law Javed Akhtar.  
Kaifi Aur Main is a theatrical collage based on the reminiscences of 
Kaifi and Shaukat. Scripted by Javed Akhtar, the narrative traces Kaifi 
and Shaukat’s journey of life from his childhood in Mijwan…their 
unusual romance culminating in a marriage that lasted 55 years… life in 
Bombay in the 50s...the Progressive Writer’s Movement… Kaifi’s social 
and cultural activism...his path-breaking work as a lyricist in Hindi 
cinema... his fight against life-threatening illness...and their 
relentless fight to make Mijwan a place of progress... Kaifi Aur Main 
is also a celebration of Kaifi Azmi’s poetry and his unparalleled 
contribution to Indian Cinema.  
Kaifi Azmi’s recollections are brought to life by Javed Akhtar and are 
interwoven by Shabana Azmi with the memories of her mother Shaukat 
Kaifi, whose impressions make the narrative ‘a heart-warming account 
that rises above the personal to document the politics of an era in a 
distinctly female voice’.  
In their inimitable style, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar take us 
through a very personal journey and share moments that will be 
cherished for many a lifetime.  
The sensitive and touching narrative written by Javed Akhtar is based 
on Shaukat Kaifi's book of memoirs Yaad Ki Rehguzar as well as on Kaifi 
Azmi's interviews and writings.  
The narrative is interspersed with renditions of Kaifi's poems and 
songs by the young singer Jaswinder Singh and supported by a live 
Kaifi Aur Main is a tribute to Kaifi Azmi, his poetry, work, life and 
most of all his unending courage.  
The journey so far….  
Kaifi Aur Main premiered in Mumbai in 2006 on the 4th death anniversary 
of Kaifi Azmi. This theatrical collage has received standing ovations 
and rave reviews in India and across the world. In Nov-Dec 2006, 14 
shows of this production were staged in USA-Canada-UK in cities like 
New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, London and others. It 
has also been staged in Mumbai, Delhi, Ludhiana, Bangalore, Hyderabad, 
Jaipur and Dubai.  
The unique form of this production has won over audiences not just 
across borders but also across different classes and age-groups. At one 
level it is a heart-warming love story between two individuals from 
very different backgrounds. On the other hand it is the journey of a 
poet whose work has inspired generations of Indians. Music, poetry, 
drama, romance, humour, pathos and triumph of the human spirit make it 
universally appealing to the music connoisseur as well as the theatre 
Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar, seen together for the first time on 
stage in this show, have charmed audiences and left them craving for 
more. Critical acclaim and appreciation has come from artists, writers, 
directors, connoisseurs, journalists and the audience at large.  
Legendary poet, writer and activist, Kaifi Sahab was an integral part 
of IPTA (Indian People's Theatre Association). As President of IPTA he 
was actively involved in its administration and organisation till his 
last days. He inspired, cajoled and led a whole generation of theatre 
enthusiasts to make theatre relevant in today's times. His energy and 
enthusiasm was unbelievable, for he insisted in giving everything 100%. 
To those who didn't know him, it was difficult to believe that he had 
suffered from a severe stroke almost thirty years ago. But this did not 
deter him from striving to strengthen IPTA or single-handedly trying to 
transform and upgrade his native village, Mijwan in Azamgarh U.P.  
Kaifi Azmi went down fighting till the last for all the causes which he 
fiercely supported in his life, in his work and in his art.  
IPTA premiered its theatrical collage in memory of Kaifi Azmi on his 
4th death anniversary in 2006. A year later, we dedicate this 
performance to Kaifi Sahab with the hope that we can follow his 
progressive philosophy and work towards a better tomorrow for our great 
Violin Jitendra Thakur, Tabla Ashish Jha, Guitar Sushant Sharma  
Keyboard Mandar Parkhi, Percussion Surendra Belbansi  
Set Design M.S.Sathyu, Lights Shaili Sathyu  
(Duration: 2 hrs and 10min with interval)  
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All donations are tax exempt under section 80G.  

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