Poet and screenwriter, Javed Akhtar feels awkward to cut cakes on his birthday. (AP)
Poet and screenwriter, Javed Akhtar feels awkward to cut cakes on his birthday. (AP)

Javed Akhtar: I never ask personal questions to my kids

The veteran writer-lyricist feels that once kids grow up, they have a right to their privacy and asking them personal questions is a no-no.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 01:36 PM IST

“When people ask me to cut a cake, I feel awkward as I hadn’t as a kid,” shares veteran writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar, who turns 76 today. “Birthday ek rasm hai. Mohobbat hai, toh dost aa jaate hain. If you are born in a well-to-do family where parents enjoy celebrating birthdays, you feel different but humne toh dekha nahin tha. Poor kids don’t celebrate birthdays and I started doing so only after growing up,” he adds. With his wife-actor Shabana Azmi shooting in England, he says there won’t be a party. “I won’t be doing anything and I doubt anyone will turn up, especially due to Covid,” he says.

In his trademark humour, he calls the last year, the year that never was. The senior writer admits that in the 36 years of marriage, the couple never spent so much time together as they did last year. He shares, “Both of us are compulsive travellers and usually away from home, so it was pleasant to stay in a house together for over three months. Shabana and I enjoyed our Khandala home, which we would visit for weekends, only on occasions. We saw many movies, read a lot and introspected too. We got time to be with ourselves. Of course, we are privileged so there was no trouble but there were many who had a tough time in 2020.”

Last year, there were rumours of his son Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar’s plan to tie the knot after being together for three years. Has he spoken to Farhan about marriage or the rumours? “I believe that once kids become adults, they have a right to their privacy and asking them personal questions is a no-no. If they offer personal information, you should listen but never probe or enquire or question them. It is not a decent thing. If my kids want to share about their personal lives with me, I would be most happy to listen but I never probe or ask personal questions to my kids,” he signs off.

Interact with author on Twitter/@iamkav

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