Mumbai: He is a wizard of words and she the face of parallel Indian cinema -- Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi make an enviable couple. After almost three decades of marriage, the writer-lyricist admits he is still in awe of his "perfectionist" wife whom he lovingly calls `Dr.No`.
"Shabana is a perfectionist. A lot of people think she is extremely picky and choosy about her work, but that`s her temperament...she won`t say yes to a script unless she is totally convinced. If she reads 100 scripts, she says no to all except maybe three or four! That`s why I call her Dr.No," said Javed, who tied the knot with Shabana in 1984.
Javed, 66, says even though Shabana has too many criteria for zeroing in on her films, she gives the projects her all once she gives the nod.
"It is amazing how much she dedicates herself to her work. When she takes up a film, she takes her role very seriously and goes into small details to get the role right.
"I remember Shankar Mahadevan saw Shabana`s `Morning Raga` in which she has played a Carnatic singer, and he told me that looking at her poise in the movie, no one could ever tell that she didn`t know classical singing. So that is what Shabana does...she perfects everything!" he said.
The writer-lyricist, who is hosting Zee Classic`s new show "Classic Legends", said even in personal life, Shabana is "perfection personified".
"Whether as a wife, daughter, sister or friend...she goes out of her way to make people feel special. She always remembers all birthdays and makes it a point to wish everybody," he said.
Though Javed`s meaningful songs suggest his romantic streak, Shabana once told an interviewer that her husband has "no romantic bone".
To that, he said: "People who work in circus, do they come back home and jump from pillar to pillar? So, why ask me this!"
Shabana is Javed`s second wife. He was earlier married to writer Honey Irani, with whom he had two children -- filmmakers Farhan and Zoya.