Shabana and Jaya bond mid-air

It’s the perfect plot for a light-hearted film — two 60-plus divas bonding during time of crisis, thousands of feet above the ground.

Last week, Shabana Azmi’s flight back from London to Mumbai was struck by lightening. Recalling the harrowing experience at Heathrow airport Shabana says, “Luckily, the passengers had not boarded when lightening struck our flight. But it triggered off an interminable delay which would have been unbearable were it not for the company I unexpectedly found.” Jaya Bachchan, Shabana learnt, was travelling by the same flight.

“It was just providential. I don’t know what I’d have done or how I’d have coped if I hadn’t found Jaya among the stranded co-passengers,” says Shabana.

Shabana and Jaya spent the next 24 hours having the time of their lives.

“I just love Jaya’s company. She speaks her mind, and calls a spade a spade. We spoke about things we can never discuss in Mumbai. We got the chance to truly bond, something that we rarely do in Mumbai.”

Shabana was not too pleased with the way the London airport handled the crisis. “We were left unattended for hours. At 11.30 pm, the counters were closed and at 12 am, we simply had to leave the airport because it closes down at midnight.”

Thankfully, Shabana and Jaya gave each other company while an alternative flight was arranged. “But it’s not an airport crisis that I am likely to forget easily,” says Shabana. 

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