Shabana Azmi's mother Shaukat Azmi passes away; Nadira Babbar pays tribute

Updated: Nov 23, 2019, 07:41 IST | Shaheen Parkar | Mumbai

Nadira Babbar pays tribute to Shaukat Azmi, a stalwart of the Progressive Writers Movement and a city theatre doyenne

Shaukat Azmi
Shaukat Azmi

Veteran theatre and film actor Shaukat Azmi passed away on Friday. She was 90, and had been ailing for some time. The last rites will be performed today at the Four Bungalows kabrastan in Andheri where she will be laid to rest next to husband Kaifi Azmi, who passed away in 2002. She is survived by actor-daughter Shabana Azmi, and cinematographer son Baba.

She had authored Kaifi And I, a book about her life with her writer-poet-lyricist husband. Shaukat is best remembered for her roles in M S Sathyu's Garam Hawa (1973) and Muzaffar Ali's Umrao Jaan (1981).

Shaukat Azmi with daughter Shabana Shaukat Azmi with daughter Shabana 

Veteran theatre actor-director Nadira Zaheer Babbar has fond memories of Azmi. "I used to hear several stories about Moti chachi [Azmi] from my parents [Sajjad Zaheer and Razia]. Moti chachi and Kaifi chacha got married in our home. In fact, Moti chachi wore my ammi's bridal attire for the wedding. My father and Kaifi chacha were part of the Progressive Writers' Movement and associated with the Communist Party. Abba and Kaifi chacha bonded over their socially-conscious writings."

Nadira Zaheer BabbarNadira Zaheer Babbar

Babbar recalls her interactions with Azmi when she set up her theatre troupe, Ekjute. "She was a regular at Prithvi theatre, and would catch up on our plays. She must have watched most of our productions. Though the Azmis are from Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, she belonged to Hyderabad. Kaifi chacha and she met at a mushaira. I remember our visits to her home, where she had a tradition of serving tea. A tray full of cups, and a kettle filled with tea would arrive on the table; she would pour it and serve every guest herself. She was a woman who loved life, and lived it the way she wanted."

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