During the COVID-19 crisis, the magnificent Shabana Azmi filmed an entire web series for Steven Spielberg in Budapest and a feature film for Shekhar Kapoor in London. However, all shooting has now come to a halt. With her spouse and a few close family friends, the glamorous actress is now at her farmhouse on the outskirts of Mumbai.
Her farmhouse is called Sukoon. But there is no sukoon (peace) in her mind right now. “Every day we are losing a relative or a friend. Jadu (husband Javed Akhtar) lost two cousins on the same day. Before we can mourn the passing of one loved one, another one goes. I’m numbed with grief and disbelief.”
Shabana is quarantining with her family. “At Sukoon we step out only into the garden. Otherwise, we are completely indoors. The family is here with us, and that’s most comforting at a time like this. We do not leave the house. Grocery is brought to the house. We have created our own bubble over here in Sukoon, a lesson I learnt from my shootings abroad after the pandemic broke out.”
In terms of contribution to COVID-19 relief, she said, “I am monitoring the work at Mijwan (her ancestral home town in Uttar Pradesh) for Covid relief, including providing oxygen concentrators on a daily basis. But these are not things one should be talking about. Right now, it’s time for action, not self-congratulation.”