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Happy birthday Shabana Azmi: This is the life lesson Kaifi Azmi gave his talented daughter when she wanted to join films

  In the heydays of parallel cinema in Hindi film industry, a quartet ruled the firmament -- Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi. In an era when song-and-dance defined entertainment, these four, powered by realistic storytelling and socially relevant content, shone the brightest. Additionally, Shabana was successful working in mainstream films as well.Daughter of noted Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi and stage actor Shaukat Azmi, it was only natural that Shabana was exposed to arts and a culture early in life. However, her ability to pull off mainstream as well as parallel roles was a marvel and quite her own creation.On her 70th birthday, here’s an incident from her life which led her on a path of excellence. Shabana had once tweeted narrating her late father’s response when she had evinced an interest in acting. She had written: “#BaapBetiJodi...When I asked my father Kaifi Azmi if he would support my decision to become an actor, he said, ‘I will support you in whatever you choose to do. If you want to become a shoemaker (a mochi) I will support you provided you tell yourself that you will try to become the best mochi in the business.’ It was one of life’s many lessons he taught me.”