Not once, but twice: When Shabana Azmi tried to commit suicide
1/4What little Shabana first felt that day?
“One morning, when Shabana was nine years old and Baba just six, I was giving them their breakfast and picked up a toast from Shabana's plate, saying, 'Betey, Baba's bus will be here soon, so I am giving this toast to him. You have a little more time; I've sent Alice to get some bread and she'll be back any minute.' Shabana left the table silently.” In picture above: Shabana Azmi with parents Shaukat Kaifi and Kaifi Azmi and brother Baba Azmi.
2/4Little Shabana got emotional and left for school
“When Alice returned I called out, 'Shabana, Shabana, come Betey, look your toast is done.' I heard her in the bathroom sobbing as though her heart would break, and rushed to her. The moment she saw me, Shabana hastily wiped away her tears and left for school.” In picture above: Shabana Azmi and her mother Shaukat Kaifi.
3/4The drastic step and gracious survival
“She went to the laboratory and took some nila thotha (Copper Sulfate). Mercifully, the poison had passed its sell-by date. I held my head in despair when Parna, Shabana's best friend from their kindergarten days told me that Shabana had told her, 'Mummy loves Baba more than she loves me.'”
4/4Little Shabana escaped death the second time
“I recall another incident when I told Shabana off quite firmly, because she had been rude to me, only to discover that she had tried the throw herself in front of a train at Grant Road station. Luckily, her school's janitor happened to be standing behind her and managed to pull her back, shouting, 'Baby, Baby what are you doing?' Shabana escaped a second time but I was most distraught and now had to think twice before telling her off.” In picture above: Shabana Azmi with parents Shaukat Kaifi and Kaifi Azmi.