Today, when she is celebrating hubby Javed's (Akhtar) 67th birthday, Shabana Azmi can't help but compare the similarities that Javed and her father writer-lyricst Kaifi Azmi share. Just last week, Shabana celebrated her father's 90th birth anniversary by putting together a compilation of his songs. The ever-green actress shares some anecdotes that are close to her heart:
Who: Shabana Azmi
What: Talking about the similarities between her husband,
Javed Akhtar and her father, Kaifi Azmi
There are so many similarities between Javed and Kaifiji. Their understanding of the world is the same. Both of them have been progressive writers. In fact, Javed's father Jan Nisar Akhtar was one of my dad's closet friends. Both of them came from Lucknow, were shayars as well as wonderful lyricists. Fortunately, Javed got his lyrical genius as a gift from his father. And that only strengthened after his association with his father-in-law, ie my Abba. If destiny is to be believed, Kaifiji's birthday falls on January 14 and Javed's on January 17. So somewhere, they even share the same stars (smiles).
My Abba never scolded my brother and me. In fact, he wasn't a man of many words. He hardly spoke in the house or at his workplace. However, whenever he spoke, he was gracious. But I would wonder many-a-times how he'd make such wonderful songs with his buddies Chetan Anand and Madan Mohan. Everyday at around 10am, Chetanji would come to our place. Abba would sit in a corner of the room and Chetanji would sit right in front of him. They wouldn't speak a word. I would stand at the door of the room and would try to hear their conversation. But there wouldn't be an exchange of words. At 2pm, Chetanji would leave with a song in his hand! I don't know whether it was telepathy or osmosis, but their music was created without any conversation between them.
On a song
The song Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho from Arth is very close to my heart. Not just because it is written by Abba, but also because it is a beautiful number. Mahesh Bhatt has picturised it beautifully, while Jagjit Singh's voice just took it to another level. An actor's job becomes easy when there is a good stimulus. This stimulus comes from good lyrics and the situation in the script. If all this prevails, then an actor just has to react. Trust me, even today when I hear that song, there are tears in my eyes. Other favourites of mine are songs from Heer Ranja. In fact, the entire film was written in versus and shayari.