Shabana Azmi says the lockdown has made her forget what dressing up means. “I am lolling around our house in anything. Kuch bhi kapde pahen leti hoon. Does this mean that we make an effort to dress up only for others? I wonder what it would be like to make that effort to dress up again…whenever that happens!”
Shabana recalls her mother, a voracious saree collector, would always be dressed properly. “Even at home she was immaculately dressed. She believed one dresses up for one’s own satisfaction and not for others.”
Shabana has been working out of her home. “I am constantly attending webinars, monitoring the Covid-related activities of the Mijwan Welfare Society (an organization named after her father Kaifi Azmi’s native village) doing everything that I normally would except shooting.”
Shabana’s better-half Javed Akhtar has stopped all work.
Says Shabana, “He has cut himself off completely from all social contact and spends the entire day binge-watching OTT serials. I finally know what a couch potato looks like.”
Didn’t Shabana watch any shows during the lockdown? “I can’t sit still for more than half an hour. But I did watch the Vidya Balan short film Natkhat…very very disturbing. It shows show patriarchal mindsets are normalized. I’ve always liked Vidya’s work, and her voice is remarkably expressive.”
During this time of lockdown Shabana misses her mother, who passed away earlier this year, the most. “I feel after losing her I’ve been forced to finally accept that I am an adult now. There is no one I can throw tantrums with.”
Covid apart, this year has been terrible for Shabana. “In January I was in a near-fatal road accident(which I’ve completely blanked out from my mind). Then I lost Mum. And now this Covid lockdown.”