Veteran theatre and film actor Shaukat Kaifi passed away on Friday due to age-related illness. The 93-year-old, who had been ill for a while, suffered a cardiac arrest at her residence in Mumbai, Bandra. ABP News reports that Shaukat Kaifi suffered a heart attack at 5 pm on Friday and died on the spot. Shaukat passed away surrounded by loved ones, including her daughter Shabana Azmi.
Kaifi's son-in-law, the veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar, confirmed the news. He told PTI, “She was 93 and she was having one problem after another. She was admitted to Kokilaben Dhirubai Ambani Hospital. For a number of days she was in the ICU and then she was discharged from there. It was all age-related,” he said. “Ultimately they brought her home. She wanted to come back to her own room she stayed for a day or two and then passed away. Shabana is in Mumbai.”
Shaukat Kaifi: A Veteran Of Theatre And Film
Shaukat Kaifi was married to Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi. They were the leading lights of the Indian People's Theatre Association and the Progressive Writers Association. These were the cultural platforms of the Communist Party Of India. “She was instrumental in keeping IPTA running and was the glue that kept the Azmi household together. The selfless struggles that Kaifi Saheb and she undertook in their village Mijwan, Azamgarh, UP to bring prosperity, dignity, and an identity to it cannot be fathomed by today’s minds seeking instant gratification,” said Danish Hussain, actor.
“She was not just somebody’s mother-in-law, she was much bigger than that - film actor, theatre actor, she wrote a book in which she wrote about her husband. She was great hostess. We’re all going to miss her a lot."
Kaifi is most remembered for her appearance in films like Garam Hawa which was about the struggles faced by the Muslim community after Partition. The film was an exploration of the frustrations and pains that Partition brought for families that decided to stay on this side of the border. Her other remembered work is Umrao Jaan. Here, she played the role of Lucknow brothel owner Khanum Jaan.
RIP #shaukatazmi 🙏🏼 a life so very well lived and loved. Consider myself lucky to have spent some precious time with her. My deepest condolences to @AzmiShabana @Javedakhtarjadu @babaazmi @tanveazmi pic.twitter.com/JU0UvhiZQ2— Urmila Matondkar (@UrmilaMatondkar) November 22, 2019
She was also a part of Mira Nair's Oscar-nominated film Salaam Bombay! Shaukat was a respectable figure in the world of theatre and appeared in more than a dozen plays. She was a talented writer and penned an autobiography entitled Kaifi and I which was later adapted as a play. The play was performed was Shabana Azmi and her husband, Javed Aktar. Her last film was Shaad Ali's Saathiya in 2002.
Not Just Someday's Mother-In-Law: Javed Aktar
Javed Akhtar told The Quint, “She was not just somebody’s mother-in-law, she was much bigger than that - film actor, theatre actor, she wrote a book in which she wrote about her husband. She was great hostess. We’re all going to miss her a lot."
Kaifi is most remembered for her appearance in films like Garam Hawa which was about the struggles faced by the Muslim community after Partition.
Shaukat Kaifi is survived by not only her daughter, Shabana Azmi but also by her son, Baba Azmi. Shaukat's last rites will take place on Saturday at around 3 pm.
Picture Credit: ThePrimeTalks.com
Prapti Sarkar is an intern with SheThePeople.TV