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Shabana Azmi Travels To Her Native Place For The First Time Since The Pandemic
Shabana Azmi leaves for her ancestral village Mijwan on 12 November.
And she isn’t going alone. Accompanying her are her brother Baba Azmi his family and some very likeminded friends who are setting up landmark business enterprises in Mijwan
Shedding light on this historic visit Shabana asks, “Yes we are heading to Mijwan in a big paltan.We haven’t been to Mijwan during the pandemic. So there is a huge backlog of work to be taken care of. Baba is going location hunting. Kakul Hai, a lecturer of psychiatry at Delhi University wants to write a book on the women of Mijwan. He is also accompanying us.My friend Shaili Sathyu who is also accompanying us, will set up a course in lifeskills and dramatics in Mijwan. Arun Martin is accompanying us for teacher’s training programme. Neeraj Aggarwal from Rural Shores wants to set up a computer centre.”
Shaili Sathyu, daughter of filmmaker M S Sathyu is the artistic director of Gillo Repertory Theatre, an organization that specializes in theatre for young audiences. She has written and directed over ten plays, including ‘Kyun-Kyun Ladki’, ‘Mister Jeejeebhoy and the Birds’, ‘She-He-Shey’, Gulaabo Aur Parizad and ‘Chidiya, Udd!’, among others. Since 2003, she has conducted creative drama and theatre workshops for children and teachers across India. Under her leadership, Gillo Repertory Theatre has produced more than 20 plays, staged over 500 shows and reached over 110,000 children in India.Shaili is a recipient of the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar from the Sangeet Natak Akademi. She has served as the Honorary Secretary of ASSITEJ India chapter (The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) for two years.
Shabana gets misty-eyed when she thinks of all the progress in their ancestral village. “How happy and proud Abba (father Kaifi Azmi) would have been to see all this! If I’ve been able to make his dream come true, then I consider myself blessed.”