Shabana reading Javed Akhtar’s poems

The occasion was the reading of screenplay writer and poet Javed Akhtar’s urdu poems and their translations at the Kala Ghoda Festival. Javed read the original urdu poems and Shabana in a red saree with beads and lipstick to match read the English translations. My say the translated poems did capture the nuances of the original. A record crowd had gathered at the David Sassoon Library garden where the reading was held and we (me, Asheeth, Archhana, Maya, Anil, Ravi)had to balance ourselves on the garden tiles, planted vertically. Ouch!

It was a pleasure listening to these two professionals. They had a good stage presence and gelled rather well. Javed was his usual affable and humorous self, and his humbleness showed. I have always been a great admirer of this artistic pair. Shabana besides acting in movies is involved with the rights of the people living in slums around the posh Cuffee Parade area of Bombay, where an internecine battle is going on to evict the slum dwellers, ostensibly, to put up more sky scrapers.

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