Theatre artiste and actress Shaukat Kaifi passed away in Mumbai on Friday, 22 November 2019. Kaifi, the mother of actress Shabana Azmi and cinematographer Baba Azmi, was 91. The Times of India reported that Kaifi's demise occurred at her Juhu home.
Shaukat Kaifi was born and brought up in Hyderabad, in a family that valued progressive ideals. Shaukat had said of herself, "Even in childhood, I was a rebel. My dupatta would be curled around my neck instead of being draped over me."
She moved to Mumbai after her marriage to the poet Kaifi Azmi; they met when she was 19. Together, Shaukat and Kaifi raised two children while also being pioneers of the Indian People's Theatre Association and the Progressive Writers Association.
Among Shaukat Kaifi's most memorable roles were in the films Garam Hawa, Salaam Bombay and Umrao Jaan. She also wrote Kaifi and I, a memoir of her life with Kaifi Azmi, later made into a play.
Known also for her elegant, timeless style, Shabana Azmi had previously said that her mother's sense of aesthetics was deeply influenced by her tours with Prithvi Theatre, which "exposed her to the beauty of India's rich crafts".