Kaifi Azmi and Shaukat's love story in English

Kaifi Azmi and Shaukat's love story in English

 Actress Shabana Azmi along with her husband and lyricist Javed Akhtar launching the book 'Kaifi & I' in Jaipur on Thursday. PTI

With both of the two fiercely revolutionary in their own ways, the book 'Kaifi & I', the English version of which was launched here yesterday details how Shaukat was irresistibly attracted towards the poet and his liberated views.

The book was released here by the duo's daughter and actress Shabana Azmi and her lyricist husband Javed Akhtar at the fifth edition of the Jaipur Literature festival.
"It is intriguing how the book is so replete with vivid recreations and graphic details, as my mother never maintained a diary," said Shabana after releasing the book, the Urdu version of which was called 'Yaad ki Rehguzar'.

Kaifi Azmi and Shaukat had met for the first time at a 'mushaira' in Hyderabad in 1947 and the latter was mesmerised by the Communist poet, whose poetry she believed was driven by a mission, according to the memoirs, a section of which was read by Shabana here.In the book Shaukat Azmi, a veteran actress who acted in films like Umrao Jaan and Salaam Bombay, recalls that Kaifi had written his hugely popular poem 'Aurat' celebrating a liberated woman, for her.

"The two being Communist party members never had money, but it never mattered to them," Shabana said.

'Kaifi Aur Mein', a play based on the memoir was written and performed by Javed Akhtar and Shabaana Azmi and performed in India as well as abroad in 2006.

"What is interesting about the book besides the story of Kaifi Azmi is the fact that it also captures in vivid detail the life and times of the cities of Hyderabad and Bombay in their time including ways of life that cannot even by found in those cities today," said Akhtar.
"In this respect, the history of that time is captured between the lines in the book," he said.

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