January 13, 2007
Shabana Azmi is in Hyderabad to receive the ANR 2007 Award today. She visited Annapurna studios and met the scribes for a small chitchat. Here are the excerpts –
Tell us your response to this award
I am deeply humbled and greatly honored. ANR award is a special one among the awards I have received as I hold ANR in the greatest regard.
Did you watch any ANR film?
Yes. I watched many films of ANR when I was studying in thee Pune Film Institute in 1974. I respect him as an actor.
Your mother is Hyderabadi and your first film was shot in Hyderabad. Tell us about your attachment to Hyderabad
I was born in Hyderabad. My mother and father met for the first time in Hyderabad. Hyderabad holds a special place in my heart. Whenever I come to Hyderabad, I feel at home.
You accomplished a lot as actress, social worker, parliamentarian and ambassador to UN. How do you allocate your time and priority?
I do not look at the above-mentioned professions as different. They are all part of the same conscience. Art is a medium to express and we should propagate good things through this medium. My father was a good poet. I think that we should always take some time to do what we like. My husband jocularly says that my way of relaxing is piling up more work.
How do you like yourself as a politician?
I am a parliamentarian, not a politician. I always kept myself away from political parties.
What is your opinion about actors indulging in social causes?
It gives me power to reach the masses because I am an established actress. I am happy to see that a number of the new breed of actors are indulging in social service. People appreciate when actors propagate soft issues like awareness about HIV, polio drops etc. Once we indulge in anything that has political ramifications, all hell breaks loose. Checkout what happened when Amir Khan said a small thing about the Narmada Bachao andolan from his heart. However, in Hollywood, every actor is committed to some political issue.
Tell us about your association with Amala who too is an actress with social service orientation
She is a very dedicated woman. She is also a writer like me. We are fellow travelers.
You sang in a film directed by Mujaffar Ali. Why haven’t you continued singing?
I played the role of a poetess in that film which had a Lucknow backdrop. In Lucknow, they sing poems by habit. Hence, I sang those poems in order to look natural. I learnt Carnatic music while doing ‘Morning Raaga’ film. I did lots of homework for that climax scene which involves rendering of a lengthy raga.
Where do you think Indian cinema is progressing now?
Parallel films: Parallel cinema has not died down. It has found a new avatar as independent cinema, which is being appreciated by urban crowds in multiplexes.
Mainstream cinema: Women are getting substantial roles in today’s films. However, working women are not getting their share of representation in films. I think the society is confused about the status it grants to women.
What do you prefer in films- Message or entertainment?
Films should have both message and entertainment. India is full of pluralistic cultures and there is wide range or variety and we should appreciate the tastes of people.
RK (Hyderabad Nawabs)
Dr. Haranath Policherla
Dil Raju 2
Mahesh Babu 3
Sekhar Kammula 2
KM Radha Krishnan
D Rama Naidu
Allari Ravi Babu
KS Rama Rao 2
Mohan Babu 2
KV Ramana IAS
Devi Sri Prasad
AM Ratnam 2
Ram Gopal Varma 3
Mahesh Babu 2
Mohan Babu 1
KS Rama Rao 1
AS Ravi Kumar
Ram Gopal Varma 2
Ram Gopal Varma