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Previews
Umrao Jaan (2006)
Director
: J P Dutta
Cast
: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai,   Shabana Azmi, Sunil Shetty, Arshad   Warsi, Divya Dutta
Producer
: J P Dutta
Cinematography
: Ayananka Bose
Music
: Anu Malik
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"Luft hai kaun si kahani mein....
Aap beeti kahun ki jag beeti"

"What story will more absorbing be...
How fared the world in which i lived or what fate hath held in store for me."- Umrao Jaan Ada

The real wealth of people is their culture and literary work, which reflects the times, the places and the people.

One such work was Mirza Hadi Ruswa's Umrao Jaan Ada. Auswa was a teacher in mathematics, scince, philosophy and Persian. Ruswa was born in 1857 in Lucknow and his parents died when he was 16 years old. 'Ruswa' means a person without reputation. After going through the book, many literary mind felt that Ruswa could have named it 'Kahani Avadh Ki' or 'Sham-e- Avadh' , because it is a vivid depiction of life in Avadh. But then, 'Sham-e- Avadh' or 'An Evenning in Avadh' means 'mehfils' of song and dance and gatherings of poets and the literary-- a veritable celebration of life.... And any such evening would be inconceivable without the presence of Umrao Jaan Ada.

A courtesan and a poetess in her own right. Umrao jaan was a name to be reckoned with in way description of life in Avadh. If Lucknow was the heart of Avadh, Umrao was the heart beat.

When she first came to Lucknow, she was Amiran, the eight year old daughter of a lower middle class family. Her father was a Jamadar at the 'Babu Begum ka Makhbara' in Faizabad. A pious and simple man, he gave evidence in a case against Dilawar Khan, a habitual offender. Dilawar was sentenced to jail for ten years. After finishing his sentence Dilawar came out, only to kidnap little Amiran, cart her to Lucknow and sell her to a kotha owned by the astute Khanum Sahib. This was the vengeance and a few rupees as bonus. "Let her suffer a death worse than a death", he said.

A kotha in that age especially that of Khanum was not only a cultural hub known for excellence in performing arts but also a temple of learning-learning the art of living. As an inmate of the kotha, little Amiran benefited the most. Khanum gave her the name 'Umrao', Bua Hussani brought her up in style. Maulavi Sahib imparted education, Khan Shahob initiated her into the world of music while the great Kathak Acharya made her feet move to rhythm. In the company of Bismillah, Khurshid and Gauhar and Mirza, Umrao developed varied skills including poetry. The pen name 'Ada' was ample proof of the proficiency in writing and presenting poetry that she went on to acquire.

Graduating in years, Umrao became a range in Lucknow. A beauty that was stunning, a manner that was enacting and words that was enticing and words that were soul stirring, made the name of Umrao Jaan mean sheer joy of watching and listening.

Stepping into youth , she had to seek the love of her life. His name was Nawab Sulthan. With the whole of Avadh at her feet, Umrao craved for Sultan's company. Somewhere deep inside her being, she had a dream of a husband, a family and a home. She chased her dream from one end of the rainbow to the other.

Would she realize her dream ever? would she come face to face with Amiran once again?

 
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