By Kalash Khurana Last Updated:
Veteran actor, Shabana Azmi was born in a Muslim family. Her father, Kaifi Azmi was a renowned Indian poet, and her mother, Shaukat Azmi was a well-known stage actress. Both her parents had an active social life, and still, they had managed to raise their kids well. Apart from being a leading actress, Shabana Azmi is also a social activist, who has earned countless praises and awards for her work. The actress had married music composer and songwriter, Javed Akhtar, in 1984.
For the uninitiated, Shabana Azmi's mother, Shaukat Azmi, was a theatre and film actor. She was married to the renowned Urdu poet and lyricist, Kaifi Azmi. Her husband, Kaifi had died in 2002, and after 17 years, Shaukat had suffered a cardiac arrest in November 2019. Shaukat was 93 years old, when she had passed away, after suffering for a while due to age-related illness.
On November 22, 2021, to mark her mother, Shaukat Kaifi's death anniversary, Shabana Azmi honoured an emotional tribute with a note for her mother. Shabana Azmi took to her social media handle and shared her mother, Shaukat Kaifi’s picture. Along with it, she penned down:
“You left in my arms 2 years ago on this day mummy and everything went wrong My near-fatal accident followed and the world got swallowed up by the Covid pandemic. Theek hi kehte hain ke jab jab tak badon ka haath aap ke sar par hota hai ghar mein barkat rehti hai (They say the right thing, you progress when you have elders' blessings). We struggle on..”
Upon her mother, Shaukat Kaifi’s death, in an interview with Deccan Herald, Shabana Azmi had recollected some of the childhood memories with her mother. Talking about the same, the actress had said:
“The woman I admire most is my mother Shaukat Kaifi who has been a wonderful wife, mother housekeeper but most importantly, her own person and a noted theatre actor. She found the perfect balance. My mother Shaukat Kaifi who is a very respected theatre artist was working with Prithvi Theatres and used to strap me on her back as a 4-month old child and carry me to work because we couldn't afford a maid. When I was about 3 years old I started accompanying her on her tours during vacations from school. I would go to sleep backstage with the smell of greasepaint all around me.”
Shabana Azmi had enacted the role of her mother in the popular play, Kaifi Aur Main, which was an adaptation of the film, Yaad ki Rahguzar. In 2010, in an interview with the Hindustan Times, Shabana had opened up about performing the play in front of her mom, and had said:
“It was a strange feeling to have my mother sitting there watching me enact her life with abba. Though Kaifi Aur Main, was based on mummy’s book, Javed went through several interviews and knitted them together. For me, it wasn’t just a play or a performance. It was a life lived and I feel privileged that Baba and I had been born to this couple, for the kind of upbringing we’ve had.”
Earlier, during a chat session with Twinkle Khanna on YouTube, Shabana Azmi had revealed that her parents were not in the favour of her relationship with an already married man, Javed Akhtar. Shabana had talked about the situation at that time, and had shared her parents' reaction. She had said:
"He was a married man, he had children, it was really tough. And that's why I feel that people shouldn't speculate. It's difficult enough for the people involved and then just for gossip's sake. And obviously, people are going to say, 'You call yourself a feminist and then how have you got yourself in this situation."
We pay our heartiest tribute to Shaukat Azmi on her death anniversary.