by Asjad Nazir
Three big names from Bollywood will come together in London this week to pay a unique tribute to Indian cinema’s greatest movie Mughal-e-Azam and its legendary director K. Asif. Celebrated writer Javed Akhtar, acting powerhouse Shabana Azmi and A-list actor/filmmaker Farhan Akhtar will share the stage for the first time at the exclusive event-taking place in front of a high profile audience at the prestigious BAFTA building in the heart of the capital.
Haya Asif, who is the granddaughter of K. Asif, has produced what promises to be one of the most unique events of the year. “Mughal-e-Azam continues to captivate and inspire audiences. A lot has been done to celebrate the timeless classic in the past including paintings, documentaries and stage productions like the recent record-breaking musical in India, but I wanted to help put together something that celebrated the soul of the movie, which was the incredible writing,” said Haya.
The three world-class talents will put their own unique spin on the wonderful words created by K. Asif and his team with a live poetry recital, on stage discussion and some interesting surprises. UK based writer, musician and filmmaker Sangeeta Dutta will act as moderator for the first of its kind event that will be filmed and made available to audiences at a later date.
The three stars gracing the stage are all excited to participating in the event. “I am delighted to attend a tribute to K. Asif by his granddaughter Haya Asif at BAFTA on July 13. Legendary filmmaker K. Asif made the monumental romantic epic Mughal-e-Azam, which is unparalleled in cinematic excellence,” said Shabana Azmi.
Farhan Akhtar said he was looking forward to sharing the stage for the first time with his father Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi. Meanwhile Javed Akhtar sees being part of the celebratory tribute as an honour and paid a glowing tribute to K. Asif. “When you think of K. Asif the words that come to your mind are dignity, power, aesthetics, literature and an extreme beautiful sense of cinema. Undoubtedly he was a great filmmaker and whatever stories I have heard about him tell me that the power of Akbar and Mughal-e-Azam came directly from him. So I feel really humbled that I have been given this opportunity to talk about him,” said Javed Akhtar.
Released in 1960, Mughal-e-Azam smashed box office records and became the highest grossing Indian movie of all time. It has since become an important part of popular culture and was named the greatest Indian movie of all time in 2013, which marked the hundredth anniversary of the industry. The story of the doomed love affair of Prince Salim and Anarkali starred Dilip Kumar, Madhubala and Prithviraj Kapoor in the lead roles.