"Anil Kapoor had sent her to me and said that this girl wants to become an actress, please make her understand so that she changes her mind. And I seriously told him that I would. She was very scholarly, so I told her to go and study at the London School of Economics. And when she came back she said she wanted to be an actress. I told her, be an actress, I will be with you all the way," Shabana said.

"And when Sunita (Sonam's mother) approached me and said that she wanted Sonam to dance, I introduced her to a Kathak teacher. So, for me she is my daughter. She has been my 'bachcha' for many years since the time she was very small," said the actress.

Azmi plays the role of Rama Bhanot, the mother of Sonam's character Neerja. Incidentally, as seen in the trailer, she asks why Neerja wants to become an air hostess despite doing well in the modeling industry.  The two are seen sharing a close bond with Rama later as being proud of Neerja's decision to become an air hostess.

>> 'Neerja' trailer out! Watch Sonam Kapoor essay braveheart flight attendant