Shabana Azmi learns Punjabi while leg heals

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS,

Mumbai: Shabana Azmi has found an inventive way of spending her time while she waits for her fractured leg to heal. She has been learning Punjabi at home for the dubbed Punjabi version of Gurinder Chadha’s “It’s A Wonderful Afterlife”.

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And Shabana is having a ball.

“I’ve been dubbing Gurinder Chadha’s film from the English to the Punjabi. The Punjabi version is called ‘Hai Mar Java’. I never knew I could speak Punjabi! It’s the first time, and I’m enjoying myself. A girl named Shweta who is a professional Punjabi dubbing instructor is guiding me on the right pronunciation and diction. She seems quite pleased with the results.”

Shabana has more reason to be happy. Her husband Javed Akhtar has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

Says the ecstatic wife. “I am delighted with Javed’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha. His is a secular liberal articulate and most important of all sane voice that we need in today’s stressful times. He truly is to the manner born!”

Speaking on how Javed Akhtar could make a difference from the parliament Shabana says, “I expect he will take up issues of the film industry, secularism, women and the city of Mumbai. He is fortunate to have around him a resource base of academics activists and the corporate world. You cannot fix Javed into a type…he embraces a cross section of interests and people”.

Then Shabana gets personal, “I am humbled that in the history of the Rajya Sabha we are the first husband wife duo that have both been nominated by the President.”

Incidentally both Shabana and Javed have won five national awards each, and three of them in a row.

Reacts composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan, a long-time collaborator with Javed Akhtar, “I am extremely happy Javed Saab has been nominated. I consider him among the most most intelligent persons in our country. He’s extremely well-read and can handle any issue related to any topic. Moreover he has always shown a deep concern for the problems within and outside the film industry. I’d say he’s an ideal nominee for the Rajya Sabha.”

Adds Hema Malini, “He’ll do a good job, I’m sure.”