Wearing many hats is not new to Shazia Ilmi – from media campaigner to anchor at Star News, television journalist to an Indian politician – who continues to reinvent and introspect as we read. The daughter of a clean shaven Maulana who sent his children to English medium schools and a traditional home maker who embraced the stereotypes of  her religion and its trappings, Ms Ilmi was born to rebel – reberl against the norms of gender, religion and race.

With the founder of Books en Beyond, Ms Shweta Aggarwal, who skillfully led our celebrity speaker to reveal the inner persona that much of the world never sees. The audience saw the little Shazia questioning things that everyone took for granted, the angry girl who railed against her fate that was foretold at her birth, the anchor who broke protocols of the judiciary or even questioned the ethics of her own professional world, the movie maker who brought a change in the socio-economic mindset that was communalizing a language through her movie ‘P.O. 418 Siyasat Kanpur’, a multifarious personality bit always an activist, raging and railing against the ills of society.

A change maker, an undercover activist, a dynamic politician-will the real Shazia Ilmi please stand up? But that’s what she is, a warrior who strives to reinvent herself to suit the needs of the hour, a fighter to constantly rediscovers her inner core. This celebrity interview was an eye-opener in ways more than one and will shine in the array of jewels that glitter in the crown of Books en Beyond.

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