Girish Karnad's demise has left her shattered, Shabana Azmi tells Subhash K Jha.
Some of Girish Karnad's best work in Hindi cinema was with Shabana Azmi. And vice versa.
They first starred together in Shyam Benegal's Nishant in 1973 , one of the pair's earliest movies where they played husband and wife.
Shabana then went on to play Girish's wife in another masterpiece of the 1970s. In Basu Chatterjee's Swami, she was the reluctant wife, the stately Saudamini, who gradually comes to respect and love her repressed husband.
They came together again in Basu Chatterjee's Apne Paraye and Shyam Benegal's Antarnaad, though not as husband and wife.
Karnad's passing has left Shabana shattered.
At first, she refused to comment on the tragedy. This is something I have never seen her do. So I urged her to talk about her friend.
Shabana finally said, "It was a friendship of 43 years, Subhash. I haven't been able to speak to the family yet. I need the privacy to grieve his loss.
"I have been at a public function and am going into another one now so my mind has blocked the enormity of the loss.