Safdar Hashmi’s niece Saba Azad on her foray into Bollywood
Dil Kabaddi might have lost the match at the box office, but Saba Azad isn’t too let down by the fate of her debut film. “It’s a crazy time, after the terror strikes in Mumbai, and I can understand if the film doesn’t do well. But if a work is good, sooner or later it will get its due appreciation,” she says.
Bollywood is new to the 21-year-old, but not the world of acting or even of showbiz. Azad — the daughter of Shehla Hashmi who is the sister of Safdar and Shabnam Hashmi — spent her childhood at the rehearsals of the Jan Natya Manch, playing with Habib Tanvir and MK Raina, and doing bit roles as child artist. “Then I began training in dance, and theatre took a backstage,” says Azad, who soon left Delhi for Mumbai, and the stage for television commercials like Kit-Kat and Vodafone. In between, she even acted in a short film, Guroor, that made it to the festival circuit in New York and Florence—and Azad was surely bitten by the acting bug.
“I liked becoming so many different people in the matter of a few frames. I liked my character Raga in Dil Kabaddi. She is totally uninhibited,” exclaims Azad, who plays a student who has an affair with her teacher (Rahul Bose). “Rahul was very helpful. He would point out my mistakes, make funny joke—it was a fun atmosphere,” she laughs. She will be back.