The much-talked about love story between Indian literary legends Sahir Ludhianvi and Amrita Pritam has reached Dubai, unfolding on stage a unique relationship of unrequited love through Urdu poetry.
Ek Mulaqat - that has already been staged in several cities across India and attracted appreciation - has Bollywood actors Shekhar Suman and Deepti Naval play the lead characters and is bringing about a quiet revival of Urdu poetry on stage that has otherwise been a dying breed.
The veteran actors unfold on stage a unique relationship of unrequited love in the backdrop of rapidly transforming social and political circumstances during the 90-minute play that made its Middle East premiere here over the weekend.
Designed and directed by Saif Hyder Hasan, who has taken upon himself to bring pristine Urdu poetry on stage narrated through intimate moments of the two popular artists with extremely fertile minds, the play turned out to be a sheer delight for theatre-lovers.
Most of them were left spellbound by the performance and lapped up the rich dose of poetry, including Pritam's Punjabi poems such as Kufr, Mere Dost and Mere Ajnabi besides Ludhianvi's Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Main Khayal Aata Hai, Taj Mahal and Nek Madaam that stole the thunder.
"In today's times of frantic messaging and consummation (that is so commonplace), here is a relationship that is nourished in dignity and pathos. It is a musical tribute to the poetic genius of Sahir Ludhianvi and Amrita Pritam," Hasan told PTI.
Hasan is the author of several literary works and has made his mark on stage with several scripts and theatrical innovations.
"The best tribute to artists such as Sahir and Amrita is to give their languages of conversation and expertise the pride they deserve. Nothing could be more beautiful than doing this with a story that speaks of their affection for each other," Hasan said.
Suman delighted the Dubai audience with his flawless rendition of Ludhianvi's choicest poems that speak of his love for Pritam and his difficult personal life while Naval matches his intensity with Punjabi lines of her own and a longing that went unfulfilled.
Pritam's relationship with Ludhianvi unfurled in the letters they wrote to each other when he was in Lahore and she was in Delhi. Between them, they built a bridge of words, confidences and endearments.