The news of Shaukat Kaifi’s death, in the link below, feels almost like a personal loss to me at this point. As incidentally, I recently completed reading her memoir…the cover is in the photos here.
She was not just the wife of Kaifi Azmi
and the mother of Shabana and Baba Azmi, all very distinguished individuals who have given much to the social, cultural heritage of India, but someone who strongly epitomises the strength – every Indian woman ought to learn to be identified with.
Shaukat was not only successful, well known and respected in her personal capacity, she was the pillar of strength, motivation and inspiration for each member of her family, and a solid emotional prop for each of them to reach the heights they reached in their lives.
Kaifi Azmi was an exceptionally talented individual, but in my view could not have reached the heights he did without Shaukat’s moral and emotional strength to walk as a crutch beside him lifelong since a young age.
And if you read her memoir, you will know that in addition to Kaifi, the kind of tutelage she provided through examples on life to Shabana and Baba to become the persons they did.
So yes, in Indian society it’s so usual to just ignore or worse still – undermine the contribution and sacrifices of a woman, especially when and if she chooses to create, build and sustain her own identity and personal success. This is where I relate to Shaukat’s memoir so deeply!
Rest in Peace, Shaukat Azmi. You were and will always be an inspiration and beacon of light, for women who do not fear sacrifices or the lack of acknowledgment for their contributions to the pillars they create or the critical judgement of society in how they conduct their own lives. And yet manage to shine in their own true right and light!
Sharing a page from the Forward of Shaukat’s memoir in the photos…it will give you a peek into her life.