It is celebration time in the Akhtar-Azmi household . Javed Akhtar’s super-talented daughter Zoya Akhtar has been inducted into the Oscars academy,an honour that she shares this year with Anupam Kher.
Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi are over the moon.
Speaking on their behalf , Shabana says, “We are very proud of her and thrilled that she has been included on the basis of her work .In all objectivity Zoya is a very fine director. I loved Gully Boy. I’ve worked in the slums for over 30 years and I could identify with all the characters in the film. I took 20 slumdwellers from Nivara Hakk(an organization protecting the rights of slumdwellers) to watch it in the theatre and they all loved it .Zoya’s characters are finely observed and she empathizes with them even as she makes no attempt to whitewash their sometimes dodgy behaviour .”
Shabana says she’s looking forward to be directed by Zoya. She will cast me when she has the right role for me ..I am sure of that.”
In an earlier interview to this writer Javed Saab had spoken about Zoya commenting, “ In Zoya I see a lot of myself. I think she has a logical mind. She thinks out of the box and doesn’t get easily swayed by others’ opinions. She comes to her own conclusions in life and sticks by them. I must confess I am not as transparent and straightforward as she is.”
Not that Javed Saab’s son Farhan Akhtar makes him any less proud. “Both my children Farhan and Zoya make me extremely happy and proud. Zoya doesn’t have one dishonest bone in her entire body. She just doesn’t lie. That’s an amazing trait.Right from her childhood, Zoya called a spade a spade. There is a very strong sense of objectivity to her. She doesn’t give in to arguments just to maintain peace. She will make a point about what is right , and that’s it. She won’t make an issue of it.”
So whom is he closer to among his two children?
“It’s very difficult to decide. Suppose I was to ask you whom are you closer to among your two parents what would you say? But yes, I share different equations with Farhan and Zoya. With Farhan I speak man-to-man . Obviously I can’t do the same with Zoya. Zoya takes her own decisions. She takes my opinion seriously. I am proud to say there is no sign of my work in Zoya’s work.”