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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

'Please, Shabana taqleef hoti hai,' says Shaukat Azmi

Shabana was pulled up by mother Shaukat Azmi for her dowdy dressing in ‘Honey Moon Travels Pvt Ltd’
By her own admission Shabana Azmi has never been more frumpily dressed than in Reema Kagti’s ‘Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd’. And the first to notice the drastic wardrobe was Shabana’s mother and actor Shaukat Azmi. Honeymoon joys
Shabana relates, “When my mother saw the clothes she freaked out. ‘Please, Shabana taqleef hoti hai!’ she said. "Arrey! She can dress in any manner for a role, so why not me?”She adds, “The film was a lot of fun. Doing an ensemble film was a total pleasure. And I’ve done two such films back to back. The first one was ‘The Lions of Punjab’ (earlier titled ‘The Contest’) directed by Manish Acharya. An ensemble film teaches you endless patience. You are an extra in every scene. If you get bored of being an extra you harm the film.” She continues, “Fortunately, Goa, where we shot the film, didn’t give us any chance to get bored. We all had a blast, playing antakshari and dumb charades.”Cast camaraderie
Shabana got along with the entire cast and, in particular, Sandhya Mridul. “She has the most delicious sense of humour. I enjoyed being with her. And Raima Sen — woh apne type ki cheez hai,” she reveals.“I’m also so proud of my child Zoya Akhtar (daughter of Javed Akhtar). I always wondered how she’d be as a filmmaker. Watching her handle the unit as a producer I could see her capabilities. To see the correct values in your child is a rewarding experience,” says proud mother Shabana.Supporting the small
Coming back to ‘The Lions of Punjab’, she’s all praise for Manish. “He’s an encyclopaedia on Hindi cinema. I rate him as high as Farhan Akhtar. It’s very important for independent filmmakers like Reema and Manish to find the right resources,” she says. Shabana asserts, “I’ve been screaming myself hoarse that big film companies should support small endeavours. That’s why I admire Subhash Ghai. He has funded projects like ‘Joggers Park’ and ‘Iqbal’. He still has the sensibilities of the FTII in him.” Water water!
Shabana whoops with joy at Deepa Mehta’s film ‘Water’ making it to the Oscars. “I missed out on ‘Water’. But I’m glad that Deepa finally made the film. I believe Seema Biswas is wonderful in the role that I was supposed to do,” she says.“I remember when Deepa wrote to tell me I couldn’t be in it, I was disappointed. But I pretended to be nonchalant. I met Nandita Das recently (she was also the original choice in ‘Water’). Both of us are glad that the film has been finally made.


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