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Monday, July 04, 2022

When Javed Akhtar told Shabana Azmi to stop apologising for being successful

Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi have been married almost four decades. During an old interview with Simi Garewal, Shabana Azmi had spoken about their marriage, and why she didn't want to adopt children.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
March 10, 2022 5:39:39 pm
shabana azmi javed akhtar twitterShabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar have been married for over four decades (Photo: Express Archives)

Acclaimed screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar and veteran actor Shabana Azmi have been married for almost four decades. They’ve often referred to themselves as ‘best friends’ and once Shabana laughed to Simi Garewal that Javed was too ‘busy being her best buddy’ to be romantic. Javed Akhtar had revealed the first moment he realised he was in love with her, and said that he had been fascinated by her even though he didn’t know her. Before Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar was married to Honey Irani, and are the parents of Farhan and Zoya Akhtar.

During the course of the conversation, Simi asked Shabana Azmi about her marriage with Javed Akhtar, as well. “At one level it is more difficult, and on the other, you also understand, you appreciate each other as well. When you are in the same profession, you recognise that space has to be given. I’m always encroaching on his space. He’s writing, and I ask some foolish question and go away. My mother thinks it is sacrilege the way I invade his space.”

Shabana went on to say that there was a time she was trying hard to be a ‘superwoman’, and it resulted in her crying one day. At that point, Javed Akhtar gave her some advice that she always remembered, “Stop apologising for being successful. Stop feeling guilty. Before he told me, I hadn’t even thought about it.” She mentioned that he sat her down and pointed it out, and she was ‘amazed’ that there were times she had been apologetic. Shabana Azmi also added that the two of them do not have ‘defined roles’ in their marriage, and they were ‘friends’.

When asked how important she thought marriage was for an independent, financially stable woman like her, Shabana said that her case was different as she didn’t have children. She said that had she had children, she would have moved in a different direction. “Not being able to have children made some of the choices easier.” Asked whether it was a disappointment, she said that she was ‘amazed’ that it wasn’t, and how easily she accepted it. “I didn’t let it make me happy and carried on from there. I never wanted to adopt a child.”

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Asked why she didn’t want to adopt, she continued, “Well, because I am very friendly with Farhan and Zoya, and they’re grown up. They are bright children, and it’s wonderful to have them at this age, and see new ideas germinating in them. It’s an age group I like very much.”

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