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Faiz, Alys letters symbolise hopes, aspirations

 LAHORE, Feb 15: An evening dedicated to letters reading by two Indian artistes (letters written between Faiz Ahmed Faiz and his wife Alys) was held at Alhamra Art Center, The Mall, on Friday.

The evening titled ‘Chand Roz Aur Meri Jan’ was organized by the Faiz Foundation Trust, Wings Culture Society, and Delhi and Lahore Arts Council.

The letters were read by Banwari Taneja as (Faiz Ahmed Faiz) and Salima Raza as (Alys Faiz), the two visiting artistes from India.

The letter reading, a performance, was based on letters written between 1951 and 1955 during Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s imprisonment. During that period, he and his British wife exchanged letters between themselves. The letters symbolized human hopes and aspirations.

Reading them, one is convinced that love endures, hope lingers and that dreams do not die.

The enchanting voice of Salima Raza along with powerful presence of Banwari Taneja cast a spell on the crowd with beautiful poetry and magical music weaved into the performance of reciting letters.

The director of the play Chand Roz Aur Meri, Jan Salima Raza, in her note on the play says: “Apart from being a poet, what about Faiz the father, the partner, the witty, winsome friend and above all, the husband and the lover? We found these answers in Faiz and Aly’s letters to each other during his imprisonment from 1951 to 1955 in Sindh”.

She further says in the director’s note: “Within these letters, which were heavily censored, we discover an engaging montage of trust, innocence, commitment and passion”.

Salima Raza has been closely associated with the theatre, radio and television for over 50 years.

She has graced all these arenas as an actor, compere and director. A recipient of many ‘best actress’ awards for her stage performances, she devotes her time to meaningful theatre activities that are often related to social issues besides being of assistance to the disabled.

Since her return to India from the Gulf countries, she has performed in plays such as Autobiography directed by Lillete Dubey and Metropolis directed by Amal Allana.

She has also directed several plays including Yaadon Ki Baraat, Main Kaun Hoon, Ye Ishq Nahin Asan and Dil Musafir Hai.