She made her debut in 1974 with Benegal's "Ankur" and thanked him for being a "generous friend".

"Happy birthday to my guru mentor Shyam Benegal. Thank you for being you - warm generous friend and trailblazer of parallel cinema plus Foodie," Shabana tweeted.

"Have always called Shyam Benegal my reluctant Guru. He has in every way shaped my choices but is shy to accept it and prefers to be my friend," she added.

The actress, who believes that art should be used as an instrument for social change, has also worked with the director in movies like "Hari-Bhari", "Antarnaad" and "Mandi".

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