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Neelima Azim opens up about younger son Ishan Khattar’s Bollywood debut

MUMBAI:After Shahid Kapoor’s successful foray into films in his 20s, it’s his younger brother Ishaan, 20, to prepare for his Bollywood debut opposite Saif Ali Khan’s daughter Sara in a Karan Johar film. His mother, Neelima Azim, is on top of the world.

A trained Kathak danseuse and an accomplished actress, Neelima will also be seen in two films shortly, says, “I can’t talk about Ishaan’s debut as the makers have their own plans of making an announcement. All I can say is that I am thrilled that my second child, too, is becoming an actor. My children are hugely blessed by God! I am so grateful to Him for taking care of both my children. They have been brought up in a great cultural mahaul — literature, music, art, music, culture, poetry and dance and are extremely hard-working and talented.”

The proud mother adds, “Ishaan like Shahid is a fabulous dancer himself. All three of us are very passionate about dancing. My children’s dancing talent developed under the influence and the blessings of my guruji Pandit Birju Maharaj, who is very close to both my sons. My mother Khadija Azim had famous poets in her family. She belongs to the family of KA Abbas. My father Anwar Azim, was a prominent journalist and Urdu author, so my children have imbibed all this culture at home.”
Sara Ali Khan-Ishan Khattar


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Neelima explains why she has stayed away from the limelight for the last few years, “I was taking care of Ishaan, who was still a child. While I was a father and mother to Shahid, I had to solely be a mother to Ishaan. Shahid was there too, with me taking care of Ishaan in so many ways. But now that Ishaan is 20 and all set to enter the film industry, I am free to work and can devote more time to my acting and dancing.”
About Neelima’s films
Neelima will have two releases — Alif (directed by Zaigham Imam). “Alif is the first letter of the Urdu alphabet and is about the education of Muslim children. I play a progressive lady, Zahra who insists that her nephew Alif be enrolled in a school to become a doctor. There’s also Danish Renzu’s bilingual The Illegal where I play the hero’s mother, a strong Kashmiri woman, who stands tall despite all odds.”

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