Javed Akhtar is exactly like Abba was, says Shabana Azmi

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DNA India

The last day Abba stepped out

“I want to share an incident with you about Abba. The last time he ever got out of bed was 14 January, 2002 (his birthday). I had gone down to Mijima (our village in Azamgarh) to meet him. From early morning, I had been sitting waiting for him to finish meeting all the villagers. Finally, my father hauled himself out of bed and asked my mother for some money. No one had the guts to ask this very old and frail man where he was going off to with his Man Friday. Forty-five minutes later he came back, all drained out. He looks at me and says, ‘Mere gaon wale tumhara subah se bheja chaat rahen hai na? Main apne chidiya ke liye khaas taur se woh samose lekar aaya hoon jo ussey bahut pasand hai.’

Losing Abba

When Abba passed away I realised nothing prepares you for the loss of a parent…NOTHING! I was completely devastated. But now years later I feel his spirit envelopes me like the air I breathe. I remember him with celebration. I do not remember him with sorrow….

Javed and Abba

“I was attracted to Javed because he was exactly like my father. In getting to know Javed I got to know my father. Like Abba, Javed is a feminist. My father had this complete dependence on domestic matters on my mother. Even I’ve to buy all the clothes and shoes for Javed. Likewise the tailor who stitched my father’s kurta-pyjamas never saw his face. Neither Abba nor Javed have seen the kitchen in the house. Nor can they fix anything around the house. But both can do anything if they set their heart on it. Javed fights to win. I fight to play the game…..My brother Baba is an extreme introvert. He shared an extremely deep relationship with my father. Baba’s wife Tanvi, who’s the most talkative person in the world, would run out of the room when Abba and Baba were together. They just shared silences. Abba was everything to me. Ours was an open house during Abba. It continues to be so. My reference point and the choices in life will always come from him, his poetry, work, life and courage.”

My fav Kaifi Azmi lyrics

Hmmmmm… Koi kaise yeh bataaye ke woh tanha kyon hai/who jo apna tha who aur kisika kyon hai/yehi duniya hai to phir aisi yeh duniya kyon hai/yehi hota hai to aakhir yehi hota kyon hai?…The simplicity of these lines kills me. Imagine, a spouse-deserted woman (in the film Arth) being faced with these lines!….That sense of commitment which artistes of my father’s generation had, has been missing. But slowly it’s coming back in my film fraternity. I like it when film people come out to involve themselves with social issues. I find it very strange when people say, how could Aamir Khan have taken up an issue without knowing the nitty-gritty of it? Arrey when Gandhiji was thrown off the train in South Africa, he responded emotionally. When I went on a hunger strike twenty years ago on behalf of slum-dwellers, I didn’t know the issues as well as I do today. I come from a background where my parents believe art is an instrument of social change.

Abba’s mirror image

If you ask me who among contemporary lyricists has inherited my father’s legacy I’d say my husband Javed Akhtar. Abba himself used to say this. They both have this amazing vocabulary which if they wanted, they could flaunt generously. Still they both keep their poetry simple. There was never a word in Urdu that my father couldn’t give me the meaning of. I told Amit (Bachchan) this. And he said, ‘My father could do this in both English and Hindi.’ Can you imagine!

DNA India, “Javed Akhtar is exactly like Abba was, says Shabana Azmi,” in DNA India, June 21, 2015. Accessed on June 21, 2015, at: http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report-father-s-day-special-javed-akhtar-is-exactly-like-abba-was-says-shabana-azmi-2097398

The item above written by DNA India and published in DNA India on June 21, 2015, is catalogued here in full by Faiz-e-Zabaan for non-profit educational purpose only. Faiz-e-Zabaan neither claims the ownership nor the authorship of this item. The link to the original source accessed on June 21, 2015, is available here. Faiz-e-Zabaan is not responsible for the content of the external websites.

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