It’s been less than a month when Shabana Azmi and her cinematographer-brother Baba lost their mother, the iconic Shaukat Kaifi.
Her reveberant laughter is still alive for those who loved her.
The still-grieving Shabana admits she has yet to come to terms with her mother’s death. “Kehne ko kuch bhi nahi hai aur bahut kuch hai bhi. I’m taking one day at a time and going with the flow. There is a deep sadness that will need to be pulled away layer by layer and that will take time ..perhaps months, perhaps years, perhaps never .”
Remembering her mother who was a matriarch to all she loved, Shabana says, “She was remarkable in many ways. She always chose her own path, and though she continued to be her own person all her life, she never faltered as a wife, mother or housekeeper.”
In Shaukat Aapa (as she was affectionately known throughout the film industry) Shabana sees a majestic merger of tradition and progress. “The traditional and the modern were perfectly balanced in her personality. My relationship with Abba (father Kaifi Azmi) has always been the more celebrated one. But both my brother Baba and I have been deeply connected to mum too. In the last couple of years, the roles had reversed and she had become my child. Her presence in the house was hugely comforting.”
And now Shabana must come to terms with the realization that she will never see the mother whom she mothered during her last years.
Says Shabana, “Recently when I left for Budapest at 2 am, it was the first time ever that I didn’t go in to Mum’s room to wish her Khuda Hafiz. The changes have begun ..As my husband Javed Ahtar wrote, “Raahi jab duur tak kahin saaya na paayega/Yeh aakhri darakht bahut yaad aayega .”
Ameen to that!!