Shabana Azmi on Javed Akhtar’s strife with alcoholism: ‘He would stink of liquor…’

The actor spoke about her husband, screenwriter-lyricist Javed Akhtar’s phase of being an alcoholic in the early 90s
Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar
Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar

Shabana Azmi recently opened up about Javed Akhtar’s habit of drinking alcohol and described it as being a difficult phase for both of them. Javed Akhtar had earlier reflected on his alcoholism and revealed how he used to drink one bottle of liquor every day. Later, he gave up on it completely when he realized that he won’t live long if he continues drinking.

In a conversation with Arbaaz Khan for The Invincibles, Shabana said, “He knew that if I go on like this, I won’t live for long and I won’t be able to do my work creatively.” They were in London when Javed declared that he would stop drinking from that day. “He was stinking of alcohol and I said ‘oh my god, this is going to be one of those trips.' Very quietly he told me ‘Make me some breakfast’. He had breakfast and after that he told me, ‘I am not going to drink anymore’,” said the actor.  

She added, “I didn’t say anything. I just said ‘Means?’ He said ‘I am not going to drink anymore’. He had never said this before and from that day, he has not touched it. His willpower is incredible. It is impossible for me to have the kind of willpower he has.”

Javed had opened up about being an alcoholic in 2012 during an episode of Satyamev Jayate, hosted by Aamir Khan. He had revealed that it was from the age of 19 that he started drinking and initially he didn’t have any money, so he would drink with his friends. “But then after my success, money flow was also taken care of. Then came a time when I would drink one bottle a day,” said the screenwriter-lyricist.

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