Javed Akhtar: “I Feel My Age  Only When I Am Reminded  Of It”

Poet and thinker-extraordinaire Javed Akhtar’s 73rd birthday on 17 January was  brought in with  cosy family dinner  organized  by his wife Shabana Azmi.

And  no , there was  no cake- cutting. Not until the  next night.

Says  Shabana, “I’m dead against the colonial hangover of cutting cake. Traditionally hamare yahan ladoo bante jaate thay. Javedtucked into mishti doi which was specially flown down for him fromKolkata. To bring in his birthday there were only 10 people for dinner. The next night it’s about 30 -35 odd friends and he will have to cut the inevitable cakes that friends bring. Lots of youngsters who adore him. All the food he likes: biryani  ,paya ,kabab, nihari, lamb chops. Ours is a pure non veg table.To the vegetarians we can only offer mirchi kasalan ,palak paneer and dahi wada with our condolences!! Jadu lives for meetha vanilla icecream makes him believe there must be a heaven,  gulab jamun, qubani ka meetha, moong dal ka halwa and gilefirdaus .. so he will get all of that today.”

 Adds Javed with  a chuckle, “Shabana  can’t cook. But she is very good at organizing parties and  tucking  into the  food after  it is ready. But on a serious  note, I want to thank all those friends and well-wishers who have been with me  all these years.The time has just flown by. I don’t feel my age  until someone points it out to me.”

 Javed saab  reveals the secret of staying young. “I surround myself with young people. They bring a freshness and enthusiasm with them that I find very encouraging. The future  of our nation is  in safe hands.”

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