iconimg Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Kavita Awaasthi , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, September 18, 2013
Shabana Azmi doesn’t believe in making her birthday a grand affair. She likes to keep it simple and low-profile. “I am not high on celebrating birthdays and that’s why I plan to do absolutely nothing today. I have had grand celebrations for my 50th and 60th birthdays, and I’ll celebrate my 70th. But it isn’t something I fancy doing every year,” says the veteran actor.

On birthday gifts
“On my 50th birthday, Javed (Akhtar, husband) and I had seen a sculpture in London and, though he told me to buy it, I let it be. But later, he bought it, kept it with a friend and on my birthday, surprised me by placing it in our study with a poem. It was a huge surprise and I was deeply moved because he had taken so much trouble to get it and hide it for months. We don’t have a custom of giving gifts on birthdays. I don’t believe in giving presents on particular occasions. I give them when I find something or feel the need to give one. I would rather get flowers which I love and have a passion for since I make my own arrangements.”

On cutting cakes
“I don’t like cutting cakes at all and I am not fond of them. I think there should be some Indian custom instead. In school, we would distribute laddoos. I don’t know why it is a mandate now to cut a cake.”

On her mom’s belief
“I have never been a huge birthday person because my mother was superstitious about celebrating birthdays. She lost her first child just a week before his first birthday. She had planned a big party and, after that, we never celebrated birthdays. Baba (Azmi, brother) and I never had them. I remember giving two sweets in school as it was mandatory. What I would look forward to were the clothes that my mother made on my birthday. Not wearing a uniform to school on the day was fun.”

On future projects
“I am looking forward to continuing my three plays. We also have a Mijwan fashion show and are tied up with it.”