Shy yet overwhelming. That is the impression Tabu leaves
Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
Tabu: `You have to give sound bites to all kinds of media.'
FRIDAY AFTERNOON. And Tabu has just finished her zuhar namaz (daytime prayer). Only after that would she talk to the media. She observed shab-e-baraat on Thursday too. And offered shab-e-qadr prayer that night, a night considered pious and prayers said on that night are believed to be granted. She observes her namaz in salwar-kameez and then gets into jeans and kurta to face the media. The lady knows how to keep her personal affairs away from media glare though. No cares about appearing without any make-up. Unconsciously, she can impress one; with her warm reception, soft, sober demeanour, shy gestures, boisterous laugh, spontaneous response and simplicity. None of these qualities seem to be acquired.
As a judge on the panel for Digital Film Festival at the British Council at New Delhi, the lady is a natural. A fest she feels is "very compact, less time-consuming, powerful and innovative". And she thinks not that this new media can prove to be a threat to Bollywood way of filmmaking. "Even if it invades at some point of time, it will only be for the better. Same speculations were made when television came, but everything managed to have its own space, it own audience," she says.
And we know that she too managed to have her own space, a dignified and elevated one in the Hindi filmdom. This space that she got too, was not a result of a well-planned career, but " a by-product" of what she did.
"Last night, somebody said to me that I am very clever and smart; for I did everything that I wanted and still was able to make a brand equity with that. I was amazed at his opinion because I never chose specific films thinking it would lift me to a status that I have earned now. But it is true that the choice of films was completely mine. If they proved to be substantial and intelligent that is incidental. In fact, the position that I have achieved through them proved to be a little too much to handle," so much so she is labelled as unapproachable and even arrogant at times. "The impression is because of my visual image that I am a thinking actress, intellectual and what not. In fact, I don't like much of this intellectualising stuff. I get bored and irritated." And a baggage of this impression made her further media shy. As it is, she been very reserved and introvert "since childhood".
"I can't help it. It is ingrained in my temperament. These days, media trappings are more than it used to be earlier. Now you have to give (sound bites) to all kinds of media, look presentable and all, and I can't do that. If I had my way, I would have preferred select mediapersons to talk to. Six years back, I (too faced flak). Now, since I have come a long way, I am trying to take it easy. Would you believe, some people even advise me `to use media' for my end. I find it so funny and (senseless)."
And the next sensitive thing she is going to do is to feature in a lead role in the debut directorial venture of Zoya, Javed Akhtar's daughter, starting in February next year.
Mention her that Amitabh Bachchan finds her "a challenging actress" and that he "would like to work with her", she bows her head in respect. "It will be an honour for me if I work with him. I have no words for the man of such a great stature. I would look forward to doing a film with him."
And there is one more thing she is looking forward to. The month of Ramzan starting mid-October.
"I observe rozas", she shares.
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