Star attractions. Bollywood actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nandita Das. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Bollywood actors Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nandita Das and well-known poet Dr Bashir Badr will be among the star attractions at Mehfil-e-Urdu 2018, a much-awaited event that celebrates all things Urdu, in Dubai on August 16.

The free event, to be organised by UAE-based social club Bazm-e-Urdu at the Shaikh Rashid Auditorium, will be centred round the theme of Bollywood, said club founder Rehan Khan, who is expecting over 1,500 people to attend.

Series of programmes

The event will be a night-long affair - from 8pm till midnight – and comprise a series of programmes.

Khan said the first of these programmes will see Siddiqui and Das discuss their upcoming movie Manto. Titled Manto Sey Ru-Baru, the section will focus on the highlights of the film which is based on the life of popular Urdu short story writer Saadat Hasan Manto. The film has been written and directed by Das.

The next section of the evening will confer two awards on two Urdu luminaries. “The first will be the Josh-e-Urdu Award which will be given to Padmashree Dr Bashir Badr, prominent Urdu poet while the second award – Alam-Dar-e-Urdu will be conferred on Sanjeev Sarras, founder of the Delhi-based Rekhta Foundation which runs the world’s biggest Urdu website,” said Khan. The last part of the evening titled Bollywood Ki Kahani Urdu Ki Kabani will be hosted by Bollywood actor and television artiste Shahbaz Khan.

“This segment will focus on Bollywood’s musical journey from the Urdu perspective. It will feature some of the best Urdu dialogues in Hindi cinema and they will speak straight to the soul,” said Khan. Among the films that will be considered are Pardes, Ishqiya, Fanaa, Bajirao Mastani, Devdas and Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Khan said the event essentially seeks to revive Urdu. “Urdu is a language of the masses and we are doing everything we can to restore it to its place of pride.”


WHEN: August 16, 8pm

WHERE: Shaikh Rashid Auditorium, Oud Mehta Road, Dubai