I’m dead against the colonial hangover of cutting cake. Traditionally, hamare yahan ladoo bante jaate thay.
Poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar’s 73rd birthday on January 17 was brought in with a cosy family dinner organised by his wife Shabana Azmi. And no, there was no cake-cutting. Not until Thursday night.
Shabana says, “I’m dead against the colonial hangover of cutting cake. Traditionally, hamare yahan ladoo bante jaate thay. Javed tucked into mishti doi, which was specially flown down for him from Kolkata. There were only 10 people for dinner yesterday. This evening, there will be about 30-35 odd friends and he will have to cut the inevitable cakes that friends bring. All the food he likes — biryani, paya, kabab, nihari, lamb chops will find a place on the table. Javed lives for sweets — he dug into gulab jamun, moong dal ka halwa and gil-e-firdaus.”
Javed adds with a chuckle, “Shabana can’t cook. But she is good at organising parties and gorging into food once it is ready. But on a serious note, I want to thank all those friends and well-wishers who have been with me all these years. The time has just flown by. I don’t feel my age until someone points it out to me.”
He reveals the secret of staying young. “I surround myself with young people. They bring a freshness and enthusiasm with them that I find very encouraging. The future of our nation is in safe hands.”