Shabana Azmi's excitement knew no bounds when she received the prestigious International Gandhi Peace Prize in the House of Commons in London from her "all-time favourite actor Vanessa Redgrave".
Speaking from London Shabana could barely contain her joy.
"It's not just the prestige attached to the award. It's who gave me the prize. I received my award from Vanessa Redgrave who's one of my absolute all-time favourite actors from the entire universe. To get the award from her was a dream-come-true."
Shabana was supposed to be accompanied to the House of Commons for the award ceremony on Thursday evening by her husband Javed Akhtar.
"But Javed was suddenly held back for some important work. Now I'm flying back to India for just a day for him to receive an award. And then we're both off for a three-week world tour to perform our play Kaifi Aur Main," she told IANS.
Returning to Redgrave, Shabana says: "You know, on a joint TV interview with me she had said she was familiar with my work and would love to work with me. That was ecstasy. And now to receive this award from her...I'm speechless!"