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‘Playing’ a tribute

‘Playing’ a tribute
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Some people are worth celebrating. Like noted poet and lyricist Gulzar who has penned innumerable immortal verses. To commemorate his works, a four-day event is being organised in the city. Mera Kuch Samaan: Celebrating Gulzar, will highlight the literary achievements of Gulzar.

Director Salim Arif has weaved Gulzar’s poetry and short stories into two brand new plays. This is the second chapter of a similar event organised last year.

‘The idea is to showcase Gulzarsaab’s contribution to Indian literature. Some of the finest actors in the film industry like Yashpal Sharma, Atul Kulkarni, Bakul Thakkar will be seen on stage,’ said Anshuman Pandey, the organiser of the event.

On the first day, Kharaashein, a play which discusses the impact of communal riots will be performed. ‘We performed Kharaashein last year as well but this year the play will complete a decade. The people of Delhi still want to watch it,’ said Arif.

‘The play is a reminder of the loss, pain and suffering that people have gone through during riots. It serves a warning to people to beware of political motives of flawed leaders,’ said Gulzar.

On the second day another play called Sunte Ho will be staged. It is an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s short story Strir Patro, about a woman who is married into a rich family where her education is not valued and her voice is suppressed by tradition.

Sunte Ho is a tribute to Tagore. The play deals with the same problems in the modern context. Today women express themselves but are they heard? Sunte Ho is a pun on traditional customs that did not allow women to address their husbands by their name and at the same time the phrase works as a question, ‘are you listening’?’ said Gulzar.

An adaptation of three short stories of O’ Henry will be staged on the third day. The play called Arre! O’ Henry will be bereft of any overt ideological implications. ‘People used to look at me and my thick-rimmed glasses and presumed that I will come up with serious issues. This time Arif wanted me to do a comedy,' said Gulzar.

‘The play retains the element of surprise,' added Arif. Rubaru, a poetry and dialogue session will be held on the third day. This session will allow the audience to interact with Gulzar.

‘We may talk about hundred years of music’, said Gulzar.

What poems did he choose? ‘I do not plan to recite my poetry but the audience and the people always want to hear something. It is spontaneous and often begins with requests,’ he signed off.
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