I was invited to the launch of Kaifi and I, a book written by Shaukat Kaifi. I pondered over the thought of going to the other end of the world (the suburbs) during peak traffic hours and then decided to go. On the dias sat Shaukat Kaifi, Shabana Azmi, Tabu along with the publisher, Urvashi Butalia - a pioneer of feminist writing in India from Zubaan Publication, and Nasreen Rehman, a scholar from Cambridge, who translated the book from Urdu to English. Excerpts from the book were read out, highlighting the rich emotions.
The book throws light on the character of Kaifi, who had a progressive and dynamic mind, and was clearly fighting discrimination against women at a time when they did not dare be out of their purdah. As young people, Shaukat and Kaifi fell desperately in love with each other.
Even though Kaifi was a card-holding communist and a poet with no source of income, Shaukat's loving father brought the lovers together putting his daughter's happiness over society’s expectations. The book reflects on life in 'another time.' It also gives a lively depiction of a section of the history of India and its culture and charm, which were part and parcel of it.
Full report here Mumbai Mirror