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A Huge Success, A Multimedia Production “Chalte Chalte”

Lata Rao

"Chalte Chalte" a memorable evening indeed, dedicated to the beautiful Tragedy Queen of Indian Cinema, Meena Kumari. With a supporting cast of nearly 40 volunteers, it was spearheaded by Razia Mashkoor of Boston Desi Connection.

This show was at the cutting edge of innovation by showing beautifully captured reenactments in black and white of various moments of Meena Kumari's life performed by the local talent. There was even poetry recited by the talented lady herself. Set decorations for the reenactments provided by Shobha Shastry of Alankar Decorators were beautifully authentic.

The audience was taken on a journey into the life of this beautiful lady that died so tragically young. From her early years to her last days we were mesmerized and at times drawn to tears at how sadly life ended for her which was reflected in her poetry in her later years. So much information about this beautiful lady that was mostly unknown to the general public.

Poetry written by Meena Kumari sung by Nayanika Yellepeddi and Binita Dang, Harish Dang as Gulzar speaking about his dear friend and Shekhar Shastry poignant role as Kamal Amrohi, the ex-husband of Meena Kumari were some of the highlights. The performers were many but a special mention of some of the young talent such as Ilina, daughter of Pratibha and Pankaj Shah, who looked a young Meena Kumari as she performed beautifully to Radha Na Bole, Ishita, daughter of Nikita and Umesh Rao, playing the young Meena Kumari and Serena daughter of Seema and Sandeep Arora, playing the older sister, Khurshid, performed superbly. The program was crisp and not drawn out. Kudos, to Razia and her team for putting together this unique musical journey.

Audience Responses;

Manju Sheth

सब तुम को बुलाते हैं
पल भर को तुम आ जाओ
बंद होती मेरी आँखों में
मुहब्बत का
इक ख़्वाब सजा जाओ... It was special for me to “Open the Meena Kumari show” with these lines written by Meenaji. Thanks to Razia Boston so many NE fans accepted the "Lovely Paigam' & paid homage to Meena ji with lot of mohabbat (love) thrown in at the show Chalte Chalte .
I have to say that this team was amazingly hard working.

Shefali Desai Kalyani; what an awesome time we had tonight watching the phenomenal team of Chalte Chalte performs. At every level you guys simply amazed and entertained us. A very versatile program from nazams to 'Radha na bole na bole' to the breathtaking number of “Chalte Chalte yunhee koi mil gaya”..It was very evident to see the amount of hard work that you all had put into this event. So many people had come together and you all have put on such a flawless show. Indeed, it was very impressive. Thank you my friend Razia Boston, for allowing us all to be a part of this successful event. Congratulations to the entire team of Chalte Chalte. Bravo to you all and hope to see many more.

Anuradha Palakurthi;  Razia Boston - Thank you for an artistic presentation of Meena Kumari's life. A production of this magnitude required many talented, helpful and committed friend-volunteers. Special thanks to them. We enjoyed every minute of the event. The music, videos and on-stage drama/dance were a great treat.

Veena Kaur; Razia you did it! You brought Meena Kumari back to life what a tribute! a well-balanced properly coordinated deliverance, loved and enjoyed the best voices and superb singing, there was lovely spark more so not one minute was wasted and kept the audience engrossed as if in a dreamland, thanks Razia to you and your beautiful team and of course you looked like a little apsara representing the most beautiful and talented legend that Hindi screen has ever produced. You went from enlightening all aspects of her life the happy moments, the sad moments and especially the poetry recited in her voice. Again commendably superb program altogether!

Cheema Nasrullah; I think this was the hit show of 2014, everybody did a fantastic job.

Shaheen Pirzada;  Muneeza beta, you were awesome. I and my cousins and nieces from Conn. were awestruck by your talent and presentation. It was as if we were watching the song from 'Pakeeza' in real. Razia beta, Thanks for the fantastic show. Please convey our appreciation especially to the girl who performed on 'Na Bole' and Sanker ji, with all others. Shaheen Bhai.

Harish Dang;  Muneeza, you were awesome. Glad Bollywood did not spot you and Ajay, otherwise we would be the biggest losers here.

Entire team of CC: Harish Dang. Bipin Parekh, Bini Dang, Shobha Shastry, Nayanika Yellepeddi. Singers; Anuradha Palakurthi, Shua A. Khan, Salman Dar, Sankar Gangaikonda, Sowmya Shree, Nidhi Tare, Mohan Subramaniam, Sharanya Sarkar.

Actors/dancers: Muneeza Nasrullah, Mona Mitra, Fauzia Husain, Pratibha Shah, Mujahid Khaleel, Serena Arora, Ishita Rao, Baby Arhan, Ajay Jaisingh, Ajay Jain, Monisha Prakash, Shekhar Shastri, Sapna Aggarwal, Sekha Bajpai and Seema Arora.

Stage Manager: Sneh Jaisingh and Bhavana Motiwala.

Technical Team: Prateek Paul, Ravi Nimmagadda, Yasser Afghen, Ajay Jaisingh, Durrul Antulay. At Desk; Alka Parwani, Fauzia Husain, Lata Rao, Shazia Kuvale. At Doors; Avinash Agarwal, Shahid Khan, Lata Kumar, Dhanashree Ramchandaran  and Pushpa Naidu.

Video/Photography:  Suhaib Siddiqi, Mujahid Khaleel.

Event Manager: Yasser Afghen and Henal Motiwala.

Media Partners: India New England, Lokvani, Sulekha, Sounds of India, Gunjan, and Boston Desi Connection.

Stage Décor: Alankar Decorations.

Printing material:  Printing & Graphics Services.

Special thanks to all my friends, Shobha Shastry, Upendra Misra, Manju Sheth, Suhaib Siddiqi, Sunayana Kachroo, Cheema Nasrulah, and Meenu Singh, Poonam Ahluwalia.

Presentation and directed by Dr. Suhaib Siddiqi and Razia Mashkoor.

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