Eminent poet-lyricist Gulzar‘s collection of stories and poems “Lakeerein”, encircling the journey of last 60 years of Indo-Pak relations, was brought to life on stage for the first time in the form of a play.
The lyricist, who graced the event as the guest of honour, was left elatedly surprised with the perfection by which his poetry was presented as a theatrical act by director Salim Arif.
“I am really thankful to Salim sahab for this beautiful adaptation. He and his team have done an astonishing work, otherwise, I never knew stories could be brought to life through poetry,” said Gulzar.
“Lakeerein”, vignettes about cross-border relationship, is inspired by a few real incidents which the 80-year-old poet-filmmaker came across in his life.
His visit to Wagah border with veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar was one such instance that was enacted in the theatrical adaptation and the Dadasaheb Phalke Awardee thanked Nayar for sharing his memory of Sialkot (now in Pakistan).
“Kuldip Nayar is among us today. I feel he is the real guest of honour. ‘Lakeerein’ wouldn’t have been complete without him sharing his memories with me. I am very grateful to him for that,” Gulzar said.
The adaptation was presented by Arif along with theatre personalities like Yashpal Sharma, Nissar Khan and Lubna Salim.
The evening, which promised a theatrical treat, continued with the staging of Eve Ensler’s popular play “The Vagina Monologue”.
Featuring Jayati Bhatia, Swati Daz, Dilnaz Irani, Dolly Thakore and Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, the play dealt with various aspects of the feminine experience.
The play directed by Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal and Kaizad Kotwal, received a standing ovation.
A monologue raising the issue of child marriage was added to the play for the first time and was performed by well-known theatre personality Lushin Dubey.
Written in 1996, the play made its way to Indian theatres in 2003 after facing resistance.