Back to the stage to reboot creativity

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Back to the stage to reboot creativity

When twin brothers Azam and Akbar left Delhi for the capital of entertainment Mumbai to carve a niche in the area of writing and direction, they had taken a vow to keep returning to Delhi once in every three months to “reboot their minds”. 

And so they did. But this January when they came to the City, they had some grander plans to execute. Under their banner Antraal, the duo is hosting a theatre festival---a varied mix of productions revolving around social issues, romance and career dilemmas. 

In two years of their stay in Mumbai, through hard work and perseverance, they have not only managed to survive in Maximum City but have also succeeded to make their directorial debut of a full-length commercial film called Ali, set to release in May this year.

The festival is the first ever by Antraal but not the last one, as the 28-year-olds plan to make it an annual affair for their regular dose of “reboooting”. 

The festival is particularly unique for more than one reason. Though Antraal has been functional for more than six years now but not even once have they hired a professional artiste. Even during the festival, they engaged more than three dozen actors and all of them were amateurs. 

Another reason is their intent to do social good through the powerful medium of dramatics. They help the society not only by conveying a powerful social message through their heart-touching narratives but also by donating the money raised through the ticket sales. “Whatever money we will earn in the festival will go to the National Association for Blind,” Akbar tells Metrolife.  
 In the past, they have hosted plays involving only visually impaired artistes such as Kshitij, a play which dealt with the sexual gratification of the visually impaired.It took the Quadri brothers nearly eight months of struggle before the work started pouring in. “A lot of friends used to invite us to Mumbai with a promise to help us find work in Bollywood.

But when we reached there, they used to postpone the meeting by one, two and sometimes three weeks, which were extended for a couple of months. For the first six months, we did nothing but circled the dates in our calendar. This spate of deferment cost us six months before we started earning,” said Akbar.

The struggle period ended when the duo got in touch with a noted Bollywood scriptwriter-cum-lyricist Neelesh Misra who engaged them to write for his popular radio show Yaadon Ka Idiotbox. 

Despite the hardships during the initial months of struggle, the brothers never compromised on their creativity. Often they were offered non-creative assignments such as that of assistant director and associate creative head for TV soaps, but they turned them down. 

“Though people make a lot of money by working for TV but we find this highly uncreative and unsatisfying,” says Azam. 

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