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Wicked Karma Presents: Kaifi aur Main A Romantic Saga
Meydenbauer Center
Bellevue, WA
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Wicked Karma Presents: Kaifi aur Main A Romantic Saga
A theatrical event of a lifetime...

Cast: Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Jaswinder Singh  
Duration: 2 hours with 30 minute intermission

Envision a long mystic poem with a dash of romance, humour and grief. Imagine this interwoven with ghazals that are complemented with the beautiful sounds of melancholic violins and rhythmic tablas.

Somewhere, interspersed in this, is a coy real life romance, set amidst the backdrop of a political and rebellious pre-independent India. Doesn't it sound like an artistic collage straight out of creative heaven? Marking the 10th 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.

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.

But what's so interesting about someone's personal memories, you may ask. Well, not only do Shaukat's memoirs delve into the poet, lyricist, writer and revolutionary in Kaifi, but also into the lover, husband, father and social crusader in him. And since their daughter, Shabana Azmi and her husband Javed Akhtar are reading the parts of Shaukat and Kaifi, it transcends the entire experience to an ethereal level.

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. You don't need to be an expert in Urdu to understand the sentiments behind the poetry.

And if it's not the poetry, 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. For every mood, every situation, there's a Kaifi song that's intermingled in this play. And that's what makes it such a delightful experience.

Calling Shabana one of the finest artistes we have, wouldn't be an understatement. Perhaps, it's the fact that she's enacting the saga of her parents, she delivers a performance, whose brilliance lies in its simplicity. When she's revealing Shaukat's innermost feelings and thoughts about Kaifi, you can see her face glow. She makes it all look effortless. Towards the end of the act, she gets emotionally charged and as an involved audience member, you'll notice it. While Javed keeps you interested with his witty rendition of Kaifi, you will constantly keep wishing Shabana gets more time on stage. In the backdrop is an ambiguous, brooding sketch of Kaifi, which adds to the ambience, along with the young ghazal maestro Jaswinder Singh, and his live orchestra, who intermittently give a musical break to this saga. Watch Kaifi Aur Main  you're going to be transported back in time, to one of those colourful mushairas of pre-independent India...



Meydenbauer Center (View)
11100 NE 6th Street,
Bellevue, WA 98004
United States


Arts > Theatre
Music > World

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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