'Why being 60 should be such an issue'

Birthday bash

'Why being 60 should be such an issue'

Shabana Azmi's 60th birthday party last Saturday had for its invitees a motley mix of friends, family and select colleagues from the film industry who had converged at a lounge named Trilogy. “Not like Javed (Akhtar)'s 60th birthday party which was as lavish and large as a  wedding reception,” laughed Shabana heartily, adding, “but a motley group of invitees from theatre and my political activities.”

“I was doing a performance of my new play Seven in Delhi till late in the night on Friday. So all the arrangements for the party were done by my gal pals Parna (best friend for decades) and Shahana (Goswami) and my sister-in-law Tanvi,” said the actress.

It seemed rather unbelievable that the timeless Shabana Azmi had actually turned 60 but the matter of age amused her.

“I can't understand why being 60 should be such an issue. I am asked in interviews Kaisa lag raha hai? 'What is one supposed to feel? I am very proud to have arrived at  this place. Do I feel 60? I don't know. Because I don't know how other 60-year-olds feel.
I am just happy," she said.

Shabana stepped into her 61st year with her friends in Delhi. “We wrapped up the play in the evening and then I was with my friends in Delhi to ring in my birthday. Then I flew into Mumbai for my party. So, it's been almost a non-stop celebration for me,” she said.

“Someone pointed out something interesting to me. I was shooting for Shyam Benegal's Ankur during my birthday many years ago. Now, I was performing a play with a strong feminist message on this birthday. It's an interesting summation of my journey as an actress and a woman,” she said.

Shabana is toying with the idea of writing an autobiography. “Many friends and well-wishers think I should. They see something in my life that could be useful to others. Let's see,” said the actress.

What is her mantra for such luminous longevity? “I guess it's my refusal to conform. I don't see why I have to wear the colours that are politically correct. Who says saffron is identified with one religion and green with another? I'll wear both colours together. And let me see who can stop me.”

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