HYDERABAD: On Friday evening, Shabana Azmi, well-known actor, theatre personality and activist, captured the hearts of her audience. And this time, it was not her acting skills that left the audience in raptures but her powerful and emotive reading from the book, ‘Kaifi and I’ penned by her equally famous mother Shaukat Kaifi about her life with poet and lyricist Kaifi Azmi.
In the city for the launch of the English translation of the book of memoirs, originally written in Urdu, Mrs. Azmi said she was overwhelmed to be in the city. “Not many know this but like my mother, I too was born in Hyderabad. Hyderabad was also where my parents met and this is a very emotional moment for me,” she said while expressing regret over her 81-year-old author-mother’s absence.
Governor E.S.L Narsimhan who launched the book, while talking about the author said “she didn’t just blend colours to bring out a colourful dupatta but also blended different thoughts,” he said. He thanked the Qadir Ali Baig Foundation, which had organised the event, for bringing the current generation ‘back on rails’ by introducing them to the literary world.
Introducing the book, publisher and founder of ‘Zubaan’, Urvashi Butalia, said that the memoir holds a mirror of the author’s times and gives one insight into the lives of people in theatre. “My mother never considered herself a writer and her memoirs are a collection of something that she experienced without any exaggeration,” Mrs. Azmi said. “Their romance began at a meeting of Progressive Writers Association and has all the trappings of a Hindi movie,” laughed Mrs. Azmi as she read out the part where her parents met. Mohammed Ali Baig, theatre personality added colour to the book launch with his readings of poems from the book.