'Play'ing together

When CS met the writer recently at his residence and asked him what he feels is Lubna’s strength as an actress, she teased him, ‘Should I go out?’ Javed, playing the dual role of a father and writer, replied that it’s her dedication to her art that’s her USP. And as she readies to act in a play written by her father tomorrow, the father-daughter duo talk about the camaraderie they share and what they think of each other’s work:

Javed Siddiqui and Lubna Salim
Who: Javed Siddiqui and Lubna Salim
What: On working together 
Pic/ Satyajit Desai

Play on!
Javed: If you think of an actor and write a play, then you limit yourself. Even with this play, I never thought Lubna would do it. Also, a play is something that doesn’t stop. Today she’s doing it, tomorrow somebody else might do it. A play can be interpreted differently everytime. The way Salim (Arif) and Lubna do my play, sometimes even I see new things in it. That’s the contribution of a good director or actor.
Lubna: I believe actors are very selfish people. So the most important thing for me is whether the role is good or not. When I’m doing a play written by my father or Gulzar uncle, then there is a confidence that you know you’re doing something good. I’m very happy when I do their plays. It’s an honour for me.

All in the family
Javed: When Lubna is on stage, she’s not my daughter. She’s an accomplished artist. She may give me something that’s even beyond my imagination and better than my own thinking. If she thinks it’s my father’s play and I can’t change add or subtract anything, then she will feel bound.
Lubna: It’s a two-fold issue for me. One, that he’s my father. Second, he’s a writer of repute. To do justice to what he’s written is a big task. Often, I ask him how I did. As a father, if he says it was good then it’s one thing. If as a writer he says it was good, then it’s another thing altogether. But we do have a lot of fights and this room is witness to that! (laughs)

Breathing life into characters
Lubna: The good thing with us as actors is that you get everything from writers like papa and Gulzar uncle. You just have to breathe life into it.
Javed: You mean to say that there is no life in what I write? (smiles)
Lubna: Aye papa! (laughs) No it’s not like that. It’s just that it’s very easy to get into the characters they create. The writing is so beautiful that it becomes easy for us to reach that emotion. ¬†

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