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By: Natasha Khan

Rehan Siddiqi presented, a once in a life time theatrical experience, FullSizeRender (4)three consecutive days’ in a row – 14th and 15th in Houston, followed by 16th April in San Antonio. All three shows were hugely successful with record crowds for the venues. Houston, had the opportunity to witness this epic saga and all those theater aficionados were bestowed with this sophisticated, literary performance. The evening brought with it mystic poetry, filled with romance from the yester years, humour, some genuinely funny, some evocative of the era, brimming with grief and interwoven with ghazals that were complemented with sounds of violin’s and tabla’s – KAIFI AUR MEIN made sure that it covered all these elements, set in the midst of political and rebellious pre-independent India.

Kaifi aur Mein, is a celebration of a renowned Urdu poet and Bollywood film lyricist Kaifi Azmi’s life and works, seen through the eyes of his wife, a noted theater and film actress Shaukat Kaifi & brought to life by his world renowned daughter, actor, Shabana Azmi along with noted and eminent poet Javed Akthar. It is a compilation of Shaukat’s interaction with Kaifi, summarizing their 55-year-old real life romance, right from the time she met him as a young girl till their last day together.

Calling Shabana Azmi one of the finest actresses we have, is an understatement. Houston saw her demonstrate her brilliance alongside the renowned poet Javed Akhtar, living out the letters and anecdotes of the legendary Kaifi Azmi. Shabana, enacting the saga of her parents delivered a performance, loaded with simplicity. She made it look effortless when revealing, Shaukat’s innermost feelings and Kaifi’s thoughts. The performance was directed and streered, by the expert Ramesh Talwar himself. The theatrical experience came to an end with Javed Akthar’s, famous poetic tribute to Kaifi Azmi “ajeeb aadmi tha woh, mohabbaton ka geet thaa, baghabaton ka raag thaa, kabhi woh srif phool thaa, kabhi woh sirf aag thaa”.

The venue added a subtlety required for this performance and the backdrop added to the ambience with a pondering sketch of Kaifi right at the center and poetry scrolls on either side. Jaswinder Singh and troupe enhanced the experience, giving a musical break to the saga, while presenting the compositions of Kaifi sab’s poetry from several Bollywood movies, transporting the audience back in time. For every mood and for every situation, there was a Kaifi song that was intermingled and that’s what made it a delightful experience.

Rehan Siddiqi, the leader of the team behind this amazing production, left no stone unturned to ensure that this event received the same appreciation and accolades like his previous 300 shows. The high expectation of “Rehan Siddiqi Productions” was continual, from production to hospitality. The event was top-notch and hugely successful.