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MULTAN: A scintillating performance by celebrated artistes, Sania Saeed and Tajdar Zaidi, in reading out letters of known Urdu writers and poets at the Multan Arts Council on Saturday proved to be a refreshing event for the people of the city.

Directed by Kanwal Khoosat, Likhay Jo Khat Tujhe’ consisted of nine letters of famous literary personalities, including Majeed Amjad, Josh Malihabadi, Shafiqur Rehman, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Jaan Nisar Akhtar, Col Muhammad Khan, Amrita Pritam and Fikr Taunsvi.

Attired in gharara and shirt, Sania Saeed mesmerised the audience by her stylish performance of voice and expressions.

Known Urdu writer Shafiqur Rehman’s letter, titled ‘Zanana Khatoot Mein Se’ (From Letters of Women) and Col Muhammad Khan’s ‘Tusi Ka Tota’ (The Parrot of Tusi) were read out by Sania Saeed and Tajdar Zaidi in such a fantastic way that the audience burst into laughter.

Iconic Punjabi poet Amrita Pritam’s last letter to Sahir Ludhianvi kept the audience spellbound through its recitation. The duo received a standing ovation and applause.

The two-hour-long performance was followed by heart-touching performance of musicians on Raag Darbari, a fusion of Sitar and guitar with the music related to some of the letters.

Talking to APP, Sania Saeed said she was delighted with the overwhelming response from the people of Multan, adding that the audience was very receptive.

She said known artist Zia Mohyeddin was the best in reading out letters and story-telling and a number of his students were also doing the same job.

The actress urged the government to give subsidy on non-commercial programmes, adding that everything had become costlier.

“Auditoriums of arts councils have become costly, especially Karachi Arts Council which is the most expensive,” Sania complained and added that they were planning to make productions which did not cost them much.

To a question, she said stage and TV dramas both had their own challenges, adding that none of them was easy to perform.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2018